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The Comeback Trumpeters Guide

Version 0.5 (preliminary) - 1999.09.17

Content

INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................................................... 4
TIPS FOR THE COMEBACK PLAYER........................................................................................................ 5
EMBOUCHURE:............................................................................................................................................ 7
MOUTHPIECE PLACEMENT:........................................................................................................................... 9
BREATH CONTROL: ................................................................................................................................... 10
PRACTICE: ................................................................................................................................................ 12
MOUTHPIECE: ........................................................................................................................................... 13
TRUMPETS:............................................................................................................................................... 14
TONGUING: ............................................................................................................................................... 17
TONE:....................................................................................................................................................... 18
ENDURANCE: ............................................................................................................................................ 19
RANGE: .................................................................................................................................................... 20
"W HERE'S YOUR HEAD?" ........................................................................................................................... 22
PHILOSOPHY............................................................................................................................................. 23
SONG AND W IND ....................................................................................................................................... 24
BILL ADAM ................................................................................................................................................ 26
QUOTES FROM "THE INNER GAME OF MUSIC"............................................................................................. 27
Relaxed concentration........................................................................................................................ 28
A NEW IDEA IS BORN.................................................................................................................................. 29
FROM "PRELUDE TO BRASS PLAYING"........................................................................................................ 30
FROM "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE PIVOT SYSTEM" .......................................................................................... 31
HOW AND WHAT TO PRACTICE .................................................................................................................... 33
OFF TO A GOOD START ............................................................................................................................ 34
THE TEACHING PHILOSOPHY OF CLAUDE GORDON ..................................................................................... 42
TEACHING COME BACK STUDENTS .............................................................................................................. 45
THE ETERNAL AIRSTREAM .......................................................................................................................... 52
INNER TEACHERS ...................................................................................................................................... 54
COMMON PROBLEMS AMONG PLAYERS ............................................................................................. 56
ARNOLD JACOBS: THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS ...................................................................................... 56
CLYDE HUNT: "MOST OFTEN OBSERVED" PROBLEMS ................................................................................... 57
COMEBACK PLAYERS OWN STORIES ................................................................................................. 60
CP'S OWN STORIES - STANTON KRAMER .................................................................................................... 60
CP'S OWN STORIES - RUNE ALEKSANDERSEN............................................................................................. 63
CP'S OWN STORIES - TIM HUTSON ............................................................................................................. 65
CP'S OWN STORIES - W ARREN LOPICKA ..................................................................................................... 69
CP'S OWN STORIES - ALAN ROUSE ............................................................................................................ 71
CP'S OWN STORIES - TOM MUNGALL .......................................................................................................... 73
CP'S OWN STORIES - BILL FAUST ............................................................................................................... 75
EQUIPMENT ............................................................................................................................................... 85
TIME FOR A NEW TRUMPET?....................................................................................................................... 85
HOW TO TEST A TRUMPET. ......................................................................................................................... 89
MOUTHPIECES .......................................................................................................................................... 91

THE CARE OF PISTON VALVE BRASS INSTRUMENTS .................................................................................... 93


METRONOME ............................................................................................................................................ 96
FOUR WEEKS TO BETTER PLAYING ..................................................................................................... 97
FIRST WEEK .............................................................................................................................................. 98
DAY 1, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................... 99
DAY 2, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 101
DAY 3, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 102
DAY 4, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 103
DAY 5, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 104
DAY 6, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 105
DAY 7, W EEK ONE .................................................................................................................................. 106
SECOND WEEK ....................................................................................................................................... 108
DAY 1, W EEK TWO.................................................................................................................................. 109
THIRD WEEK............................................................................................................................................ 110
DAY 1, W EEK THREE............................................................................................................................... 111
EXERCISES.............................................................................................................................................. 114

Introduction

Welcome to "The Comeback Trumpeters Guide"!


This guide has been put together as a joint effort. Several members of TPIN, The
Trumpet Players International Network , as well as others, have contributed with
information and tips here.

What is a Comeback Player (CP)?


A CP is a person who once started playing the trumpet, then for some reasons put the
trumpet away in the closet. Then, maybe years later, he or she decided to take up
playing again. It can also be a person who have been playing all the time and are
having troubles. What he or she wants, is to "come back" to a better and easier way of
playing the instrument.

Editors for this guide are:


Rune

Ole

email: trpthoughts@geocities.com

email: Ole.J.Utnes@hive.no

Feel free to contact us for comments on spelling errors, suggestions for improvement,
etc.

This guide is licensed under the OpenContent License (OPL)

Tips for the Comeback Player


By 'Pops' Clint McLaughlin

I firmly believe that comeback players can surpass their previous level of playing in a
short time. (A year or so.)
This is due to several factors:
1. The player has a memory of all of his problem areas.
2. The player has matured and can concentrate better to the task at hand.
3. The player has been off the horn long enough to break old habits or bad
embouchures.
4. The player knows more about what he wants from music and what style is his
favorite
5. The player has THIS information available to prevent forming any new bad habits.
With this out of the way I will address some areas that may be of interest to a comeback
player.

Starting out:
The first thing that concerns a CP (comeback player) is how to get started. Hopefully
you've read the outline for week one that has been provided. It is very straightforward
and works quite well. This comes from the Rafael Mendez book "A Prelude to Brass
Playing". In fact most of what I'm going to outline here for you comes from H. L. Clarke,
Don Jacoby, Rafael Mendez, Dr. Reinhardt and Dr. Stevens. All of these giants wrote
books about trumpet playing and they should be required reading.

The areas of concern for CPs are as follows:


1.

Embouchure (Is my setup working for or against me ?)

2.

Mouthpiece placement (How much top lip should I use?)

3.

Breath control (It's just breathing right ?)

4.

Practice (What should I practice and how long should I practice ?)

5.

Mouthpiece (Is there a perfect mouthpiece?)

6.

Trumpet (Do I need to buy one of those new _____ trumpets ? )


5

7.

Tonguing (How can I speed it up and smooth it out ? )

8.

Tone (How do I get that full rich sound ? )

9.

Endurance (How do they play 2 - 3 hour jobs?)

10.

Range (I'm sorry but this IS asked every day. How do I play up there ? )
Where's your head? (Jakes #1 question.)

Embouchure:
The lips need to be moist, or the air stream will separate them and there will be no
sound. This moisture causes surface tension, which facilitates the buzzing process. The
air blows through the lip aperture. The higher or softer that you play the smaller the lip
aperture is. The lower or louder that you play, the larger the lip aperture will be. High
notes need a lot of lip compression and abdominal pressure, not mouthpiece pressure.
Lip compression is something all teachers make mention of. Their advice is, tighten up
to play high. They don't tell you that this compression is lip against lip, like when you
squeeze your thumb and forefinger together to grab something. It's this lip pressure that
you need to fight the air stream and soar into the sky. Excessive mouthpiece pressure
against the lips will separate your lips by pushing them apart. This lowers your range
and causes a poor, thin tone, sluggish technique and less endurance.
Points to remember:
1. Good posture. Chest, arms and head up.
2. Relax jaw and open throat.
3. Teeth 1/2 inch apart. Jaw forward.
4. Pull the mouth corners in toward your lips.
5. Roll both lips in slightly. You want a hint of an inward curl.
6. Let the lips touch and expose to air. Say "M".
7. Buzzing firmness before placing mouthpiece.
8. Place mouthpiece gently on lips.
9. Little mouthpiece pressure.
10. Breathe and blow. Don't hold it in.
11. Pivot to keep mouthpiece lined up with air stream.
12. Lip compression will give you upper register. Lip against lip.
13. Relax the chops. Back off the pressure and make the air work.
14. Always set for a g on top of the staff. The lips can easily relax 1&1/2 octaves to get
to low c and high g is only an octave away.
15. Always set chops, place mouthpiece, blow.

Problems
Nine times out of ten if your upper register does not speak it is because your lips are too
tense. Most people do not play in the upper register because they depend on their
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mouth corners and mouthpiece pressure to create tension. All we want is to resist the
air by rolling the lips in ( slightly ). This can not be seen nor is it like a sax or clarinet
embouchure. We create a one way valve. Only in this case we are blowing the air
against the valve the wrong way. This causes a great deal of resistance with a very little
tension. Therefore a super c is now played with high c tension and a lip curl in. ....
Take this example:
1. Take two pieces of paper hold them so that the top piece and the bottom piece touch
but do not overlap. Now blow see how the paper (lips) does nothing to resist the air.
We need to make the paper (lips) strong enough to resist the air.
2. Take the same two pieces of paper and let the top overlap the bottom. Now blow .
Again they offer no resistance. If we put the mouthpiece in front then mouthpiece
pressure WILL create resistance.
3. Take the pieces and put them together so that they both curl out away from you.
Now blow. Again there is no resistance. We will put the mouthpiece in the way to let
mouthpiece pressure create resistance.
4. Take the paper and put them together so that they curl in toward you. Now blow.
There IS now built in resistance. It needs no mouthpiece pressure, or years and
years of lip ups to build a mass of muscle. The air does the work for you.
Relax and make the air work for you. If your sound is thin and weak you are using too
much pressure.
To get a brighter sound roll your lips in, or direct the air stream behind your upper teeth.
To get a darker sound, roll your lips out, direct the air stream down, or make a more
oval lip aperture by drawing the corners in slightly. Too flat a lip aperture will produce a
bright, hard sound. You will not be able to play softly and will have air in your tone. No
matter what embouchure you play, make the air do the work, relax your chops, back off
the pressure and use the right equipment for the job. If you need a dark sound, you
need a deep cup and wide bell flare.
Don't forget to set your chops for the g on top of the staff every time you play. This
prevents lots of problems from ever forming. Plus it makes leaps and range overall
easier.
Remember, as a player you will need to play more low A's and G's in public than high
A's or G's. Practice your low register and make it sound good.

Mouthpiece placement:
This question gets asked over and over. And although it seems like an important one, it
is basic common sense that answers it.
Place the mouthpiece in the center of your lips. Use 50% top lip and 50% bottom lip.
Now if it feels better to you a little off to one side of the center that's fine. If it feels better
to use a little more top or bottom lip that is also fine. However you want moderation as
far as mouthpiece placement goes.
This goes for the distribution of mouthpiece pressure as well. 50-50.
Grip used to help break the habit of too much mouthpiece pressure. Grabbing the
bottom of the valve casing helps (more mental than physical) to transfer some horn
weight to the lower lip.
Stevens would have a player put his horn into playing position and then move it away
from the lips until they separated from the mouthpiece. Then he would have you lock
the elbows in place. To play you had to push your face into the horn instead of the other
way around. Well you will not push as hard this way (mental). In fact you can't push as
hard this way. This is one way to break the problem with pressure.
Pressure causes lip separation, swelling ..... Besides it holds the notes in. A player can
be more responsive if using a relaxed setup.

Breath Control:
This will pertain to breathing and maintaining an open airway. I will start out with a
concept that several may disagree with. All I ask is that you consider what I'm telling
you. The diaphragm is called an involuntary muscle. It works without us thinking about
it. It works when we are asleep. It can MAKE us sneeze or cough. We can however,
exert some control over it. We CAN hold our breath , take a breath when we want, take
a short gasp or a long deep breath. This indicates a measure of control. In as much as
trumpet playing IS AIR and breath control then working on this major source of our
breath is vital. There are several Yoga exercises that are excellent as is timed breathing
while walking or jogging.
The airway must always be open both in inhaling and in playing. One problem is
posture. I've seen many experienced players slumped over while jamming. I've seen
them with their heads down our their arms against their ribcage. If we give this its proper
importance then we see that these things WILL lead to a closed throat, shallow breaths
and poor support. Breath deeply from the bottom of the lungs up.
If the jaw is pushed forward slightly this will cause the throat to be more open than it
normally is. Try to move the jaw forward slowly and check if you can feel your throat
open up. Think of the effect that can have on your tone. The more forward jaw position
will also make your lower lip take on more of the workload. This increases endurance (
after you get used to it).
Another key feature in maintaining an open airway is a pivot. You could write hundreds
of pages about this. But that's already been done. In a nutshell by raising or lowering
the bell of your horn while you are playing you can maintain a more open airway and
clearer tone. As you play higher and lower notes the air stream will slightly move in the
mouthpiece. If we can keep it lined up with the throat hole the sound is better. The
SLIGHT bell movement will produce an opposite movement or realignment of our lips to
the mouthpiece. Now which way do you move the bell? Try this test . Play a low g 1-3.
Move the bell up then move it down. One way should improve the sound. When you
move to a lower note from now on always pivot this direction. The opposite direction will
aid the upper notes. This is a good movement whenever you have to leap between
notes.
The tongue arch has been used for years to speed up the air in order to play higher
notes. Most people arch to the point where the sound quality is affected. Instead of
arching up to eeee try aaaaa. This is a more open sound yet it still compresses the air
slightly. After all the tongue arch cannot give you an extra octave. It is merely used for
rapid note movement. The abdominals compress the air for your range. All lip trills ,
slurs and leaps are accomplished in part by using a tongue arch. If you have maxed
out your tongue motion at Bb below high c how do you plan to continue going up? The
tongue arch is like an elevator it should help you to compress and thereby speed up the
air to achieve higher notes. Play a low c to second line g lip slur back and forth. Both of
these notes are below middle c yet a tongue arch is useful in speeding up the excerise.
Likewise if you are playing a high g and want to slur up if you are already in the extreme
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eeee position where do you go? My suggestion is to attempt to substitute a long aaaa
when possible and save the extremes for a reserve.
Now for the full breath on every note or phrase. Have you ever had to play 1 note by
itself to fill out a chord in a song? What about 3 or 4 measure phrases? These do not
require as much air as a full 8 measure phrase. At the end of a very short phrase an
inexperienced brass player will feel a need to exhale before he or she can take a
breath. If this overbreathing continues for any length of time the player will sometimes
turn red or gasp for air. No you didn't run out of air for playing however, your body really
likes to have oxygen in your lungs. What has happened is you took a full breath and
used less than half. Now when you take a full breath you only replace half of the stale
oxygen deprived air in your lungs. As this continues you end up gasping for air. Does
this sound familiar? Overbreathing really is a kind of self suffocation (in the extreme).
In the upper register overbreathing becomes more apparent.
Have you seen people get dizzy, lightheaded, or blackout. They were overbreathing. I
know some people say if you release the pressure really slowly it will not happen. If you
did not overbreathe and have so much leftover air under pressure it would happen
either.
Timed breathing is another aspect of playing. Some people always take a deep full
breath. When playing in the upper register this creates tension. The upper register takes
air compression and speed but not air mass. The low notes need the full breaths. Try a
half or quarter breath before you play your next high g. This will allow your muscles to
do their job.

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Practice:
ALL trumpet students ask the question: "What should I practice?"

1. You should practice what you can NOT play. After all practice is for improvement.
2. Legato songs. Everybody can play a march style. The song style is what makes the
trumpet an instrument.
3. Light, soft, smooth and connected tonguing. As close to slurring as possible. If we
work on the hard stuff then the easy things take care of themselves.
4. Sight-reading. Nobody likes it but you can't play without that skill.
5. Transpose for c trumpet. Play out of the church Hymnbook.

As far as method books go if you have the Arban or Williams then you are fine.
The Max Schlossberg Dailly Drills will give you a good workout as well. To go through it,
do 1 exercise and skip 9. Go from cover to cover. 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, ...... to the end. The
next day play 2, 12, 22, 32, 42..... The book is played through 3 x times a month that
way and everything is covered.

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Mouthpiece:
Although there are a lot of great mouthpiece companies out there I suggest Schilke. The
mouthpieces are arranged by size and that makes it easier in case you want to change
the size or cup depth.
I would say start with a Schilke 12. It should cost you $ 30 in mail order.
When to change mouthpieces is dictated by the sound and by flexibility. If you have
trouble going from low d to low g as a lip slur then you might need more cup to let more
lip vibrate. You want to increase in steps so that you don't overshoot where you need to
be. That would have an adverse affect on endurance and range.
As for playing more than one mouthpiece. The easiest way is to always use the same
rim and cup diameter. Even then you need to practice on each mouthpiece that you
intend to play. If you change the rim or diameter then you need 4 or 5 times as much
extra practice as you would if you didn't change the rim. There are several reasons why
you might choose to play more than 1 cup depth / shape / backbore. These have to do
with making playing easier.
With the proper practice you can learn to change your tone color . This can be done by
slightly rolling out your lips, or making your lip aperture more rounded or even by
adjusting your air column (resonance freq.). If you need more immediate results a
deeper cup or even one with some v shape will help.
Mouthpieces come in sizes like shoes do. Lips come in different sizes as well. Besides
lip size the strength of the embouchure also comes into play. Professionals play
mouthpieces of ALL sizes.
Jake used to say that if your mouthpiece had a hole at each end, air could blow through
and you sounded good then FORGET IT. "Mouthpieces big fat deal."

13

Trumpets:
When you start back some of you will still have your old horn and some will pick up one
at a yard sale.
This is fine for quite some time the horn will not matter. As long as there are no valve
problems.
Although at some point you may start looking a other trumpets.
No design will make you play any better. Jake played a Conn and WOW.
No design will make you play higher. Maynard played a Conn 38B and now a Holton
they are very unlike each other in internal design.
Years ago Conn came out with a heavier than normal horn. Lots of people jumped on
the bandwagon.
Then Schilke started making lighter than normal horns. They even went with very thin
walled bells.
People jumped on the bandwagon. Bach, Holton, Yamaha etc made lightweight horns.
Then Monette made a heavy horn. Then an even heavier horn. People jumped on the
bandwagon.
Courtois, Taylor etc are making very heavy trumpets ala Monette.
What is the big deal about horn weight?
Well
A lighter weight horn will respond to the buzz faster. It even takes less of an impulse to
create the sound. This leads to a horn that will change registers faster than a normal
weight horn. The lightweight horn vibrates more and loses some of the energy before it
exits the bell. The heavy weight horn is less prone to vibrate and lose energy. It does
however tend to be less flexible than a lightweight model. ( All we are talking about is
weight.) The leadpipe can be adjusted as can the bell to affect carrying power or
response. The energy loss is most noticeable at the front third of the lead pipe. This loss
is less and less as it goes through the instrument. As for a darker or bigger sound the
bell is responsible for most of this aspect of the horn. If we had a lightweight body, a
very thick and heavy receiver, and a thick soft bell (copper) then most of these problems
would not exist. It would not lose much energy , it would be responsive and it would
have a full dark sound. Then we could let the leadpipe design and bell design
complement the horn rather than NEED them to over come a problem.

Horn elements:
1. Schilke adjusted tapers (to affect intonation.)
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2. bell tapers offered by:


Bach 6 tapers
Blackburn (changes daily)
Calicchio 4 tapers
Lawler 8
Schilke 3
3.Weights: lightweight, normal, heavy horns and the Monette .
4. bells they use 3 grades of brass, bronze, copper and sterling silver.
5. leadpipe tapers:
8 for Bach
7 for Blackburn
10 for Calicchio
An adjustable gap receiver for Max
6. How about bore sizes?
438, Constant taper .445 , .450, .453, dual .453-.459, .459, .460, .462, .463, .464,
.465, 468, .469, .470, constant taper.470, .472 these are all used on Pro model horns.
The sound is also affected by the diameter of the bell as compared to the wavelength of
the pitch. This affects the dispersion of the wave. Every internal gap, solder joint, ... has
an affect.

Physical needs
There are a few basics that may help in this decision. A player that creates his or her
own resistance by using the Stevens Embouchure, Super Chops or a variation like the
Costello, or Screamin needs a horn that is free blowing in order to fully take advantage
of the embouchure. Players that use the Farkas tend to do better if their horn or
mouthpiece creates some resistance for them. Remember that the mouthpiece also has
the ability to create resistance through a small bore size or a tight backbore.
All in all the choice of what horn is for you depends on your build, embouchure, musical
needs, taste in sound and nobody can tell you what is best for you. You owe it to your
self to play everything.
As for quality trumpet makes I can recommend:

Calicchio (Family owned hand made trumpets $ 1750 + The most custom made horn
available)
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Callet (Made by Kanstul )


Kanstul (A quality horn for less money than custom horns. Discounts available on this
line)
Monette (If you have the $)
Schilke (A family owned quality horn maker. )
These instruments are the BEST never any problems or rejects. Other companies have
had some quality control problems and I don't recommend them.

16

Tonguing:
There are 3 types of triple tonguing.
The TTK in the Arban book, TKT,KTK (alternating ) in the James Burke "New Directions
in Tonguing " book and the rolling Ta-Da-Ga taught in Jacoby's book "Jake's Method".
TTK - TTK, TKT-KTK, & Ta Da Ga are different concepts of tongue usage. There are 3
prevalent triple tonguing concepts. Whereas changing Tu-Tu-Ku into Ta-Ta-Ka , or DaDa-Ga, or Di-Di-Gi is merely using different syllables. These 4 examples all fall under
the Arban TTK . For the Burke double-triple they would be (Tu-Ku-Tu---Ku-Tu-Ku), (TaKa-Ta---Ka-Ta-Ka), (Da-Ga-Da---Ga-Da-Ga) and (Di-Gi-Di---Gi-Di-Gi).
These represent lighter syllables and are quicker to use. The shorter the tongue has to
move the faster the tonguing can be. I wrote them in order from heaviest - slowest to
lightest - quickest. The stroke involving the forward part of the tongue is Tu, Ta, Ti, Da
and Di.
The stroke that involves the middle of the tongue is Ku, Ka, Ki, Ga and Gi.
The rolling tongue needs to be Ta Da Ga - Ta Da Ga or Ti Di Gi. So while there are 3
concepts there are alternate syllables to adjust for style of sound or speed.
The alternate syllables work on double tonguing as well Tu-Ku , Ta-Ka, Da-Ga or Di-Gi.
The same set of syllables is useful in single tonguing also. Tu, Ta, Ti, Da and Di. The
Ta is the most useful.
To work on speeding up tonguing skills use softer syllables like ta da or di. Also work
with a metronome. Start at 1/16 notes, 1/4 == 60 beats per minute. Every 15 - 20
seconds speed up 10 beats per minute. Make a note of the problem speeds and work
on these. Do this with single, double and triple tonguing .

17

Tone:
How do I get that full tone?
Well there are 5 factors involved in that.
1. The most important factor is AIR. The trumpet is a wind instrument. The effortless
intake of a great deal of air is the start. The Effortless delivery of that air is the
second half. Air is 70 - 90 % of the tone.
2. An Alert mind is vital in order to always be on. That will always be in charge of what
comes out. Never go through the motions. That is not only a waste of time, but it is
also an insult to the artists and craftsmen who laid the groundwork for us to play
quality instruments and beautiful music. Always be on.
3. Your ears are the next in importance. Not just hearing your own sound but also the
sound of GREAT PLAYERS. We have to know what a great sound is to ever hope
to get one.
4. A close aperture embouchure is vital to prevent that 5th grader airy sound from
being our sound. Your lips should be touching. If the tone is a little bright draw the
mouth corners in toward the center of your mouth. This will make an oval aperture
and a pleasant sound.
5. Practice. Play everything with feeling and emotion. Even scales. If they are played
right it can bring tears to your eyes. If they are played poorly they will bring tears to
your eyes.

18

Endurance:
The ability to play with a full tone and powerful range for hours is a great asset for any
trumpet player.
To do this we must go to the basics.

1. Air and economy of abdominal pressure.


2. Close embouchure setting. Setting for a g on top of the staff always.
3. Learning to use a lip cushion by pushing the entire embouchure forward toward the
mouthpiece.
4. Backing off of the mouthpiece to lip pressure. The lips are to resist the air not the
mouthpiece.
5. Playing 3-5 times a day. With each practice session lasting from 20 - 40 minutes of
REAL work. Non stop work.
6. Patience

19

Range:
Every aspect of playing that is important in the lower and middle register is also
important above the staff. i.e. tone, phrasing, smooth slurs, clean tonguing. We learn
these by playing music like the Concone studies. Well if you want those same skills in
the upper register then play music in the upper register. A month of playing those same
Concone studies an octave up will do more for your playing than a year of arpeggios,
scales, pushups or anything else. Yes it is HARD to do. It is NOT fun and since you will
not perfect it in a day or two then you don't get that " feeling good about yourself as you
hit your first squeaky high r."
The arpeggio approach builds muscle but not control, not tone, no tonguing skills, it
stiffens and causes a loss of flexibility . But it does make you "FEEL good" after all you
can see that you moved a note.
The arpeggio / scale exercises are all gross muscle building. These will help you to
pound out a high note at the end of a chart but they will not help you to play musically
up there. They were designed to take you to a certain point and no further. Even the
names imply their goals Stevens Costello triple high c.. double high c in 10 minutes..
double high c in 27 weeks. They shoot for the student to be able to
------------------ hit -----------------a certain note. My goal is for you to play it.
Let's look at how most people develop their range. From low c to g on the staff they
played scales, etudes, SONGS, etc. From high c to super c they played arpeggios
holding the top note. So the lower register was developed by making music and it IS
musical. While the upper register was 'developed' by making noise and it is NOT
musical. I hope that my point is clear. Arpeggios, scales and slurs are only for power. To
make music you must play music.
Let me expand on playing musically in the upper register. I've known players who
developed range by arpeggios only. It works to a point. They worked on it as weight
training. (Every other day. The problem was that they increased the stiffness in their lips
to a point where they lost flexibility. This approach also easily leads to requiring an
embouchure shift. Think about it as you play your 1 octave arpeggio or even a scale
the starting note gets higher and higher. You take a breath and play the next series.
You take another breath .... There is an almost overwhelming desire to make subtle
changes on each breath. Here is a test start on high c and play an arpeggio up then
play it down to low c. Was it slow to respond or of a poor tone quality? Then you are
playing with an embouchure shift. There are some ways to avoid this.
Always set your chops for a g on top of the staff. It is only an octave to high g and only
an octave and a half to low c. When you do practice arpeggios or scales up for range
always play them back down to low c or below on the same breath. This will help you to
learn to play all registers with one embouchure. The reason to play simple songs one or
two octaves up is to learn to play musically.
20

Even if it is Mary had a little lamb there IS phrasing. Take a group of melodies that you
already have i.e. Concone (legato or the lyrical studies), Hering 32 etudes, old H.S or Jr.
High solos, all region music, Beethoven transcriptions. Play each exercise 2 times the
first time as written and the second time 8va. I used all of these plus The Lazarus
Method for Clarinet. Hey clarinet parts move around and if you practice this stuff no lead
book will ever throw you.
So you say that you have tried all of this yet still the notes don't come out. Then you are
not letting the sound out. There are several ways that this can happen. Too much lip
compression will roll the lips in so far that the air can NOT come out. Too much
pressure on your top lip can pin it and again hold in the sound. Finally Too much lip curl
will prevent the notes from coming out. The difference in embouchure set between low c
and second line g is almost none. After all it is only a fifth. So why do people make
faces and strain when going from high c to high g. It too is only a fifth. Very little
difference in embouchure setup just more airspeed.

21

As Jake used to ask all of his students:

"Where's your head?"


I hope that WE can always answer: "Right where it ought to be."
Meaning 100% applied to making music everytime we touch the trumpet. Always On.
Good luck.

Pops

22

Philosophy
Here are some great teachers and players thoughts or philosophy about brass playing
and learning to play music in general. Part of it will show different opinions and part of it
will show similarities, like the thinking of Jacobs and Adam.

Arnold Jacobs says:


"Song, to me, involves about 85 percent of the intellectual concentration of playing an instrument, based
on what you want the audience to hear..... The remaining 15 percent is the application of the breath, wind,
to fuel the vibration of the lips."

Bill Adam says:


"Today I believe that ninety per cent of all playing is mental and the last ten per cent of the physical will be
divided into nine percent breath and one per cent embouchure."

23

Song and Wind

One of Jacobs most famous phrases is Song and Wind. During his lecture at 1995
International Brassfest in Bloomington, Indiana, he explained:
"My approach to music is expressed as Song and Wind. This is very important to
communicate a musical message to the audience.
"This approach is one of simplicity as the structure and function of the human being is
very complex, but we function in a simple manner. When we bring it to the art form it
becomes very simple.
"Song, to me, involves about 85 percent of the intellectual concentration of playing an
instrument, based on what you want the audience to hear.
"You cannot get anywhere without wind. If you think of a car, the wheels will not turn
without an energy sourcethe engine. Brass players must have a source of energy, as
there must be a vibrating column of air for the instrument to amplify and resonate. The
musical engine is the vibration of the lips.
However, the lips cannot vibrate without wind.
"When we combine Song and Wind, the musical message, song, is the principal
element comprising 85 percent of the consciousness. The remaining 15 percent is the
application of the breath, wind, to fuel the vibration of the lips."
Arnold Herseth puts it another way, "You have to start with a very precise sense of how
something should sound. Then, instinctively, you modify your lip and breathing and the
pressure of the horn to obtain that sound"
Wind is the energy source used to fuel the conceptual message of the song from the
brain. His emphasis of Song and Wind shows how much importance Jacobs five to
musical conception. "Study the product, not the method. Mentalize music by making
statements, not by asking questions." (page 138 139)
Analysis
Although a little analyzing can be harmless, over-analyzing can cause problems. If the
mind is flooded with positive thoughts, it will perform in a positive manner. By over
24

analyzing, questions are being asked such as "Am I doing this right?" The mind is
flooded with negative thoughts. Jacob states, "Dont get caught on what not to do,
instead concentrate on what to do."
The mind has the capability for a certain amount of information. If the mind is flooded
with too many thoughts, it will overload. Concentration is lost and the note is missed
caused by over-analyzing.
Jacobs simply calls this "paralysis by analysis" (page 142)
Used with permission from Brian Frederiksen, WindSongPress

25

Bill Adam
Some of my approaches to problem solving may seem different to you. I believe that we
maintain the sound, that we maintain our freedom of tone and our relaxation with
copious amounts of air. The sound or tone should always float in the breath and be
covered by the breath. As the air flows through, it supports the embouchure and is quite
responsible for its position and its relaxation and for the resilience of the mouth. The
flowing air is the means for the relaxation of the tongue and its articulations. The flowing
of air is the means by which we can relax the tension in the areas of the glottis, the
epiglottis, the back of the tongue, the larynx, and the abdominal wall. Truly the trumpet
is a wind instrument and is dependent upon the breath as a source of motive power.
As I have matured, my thoughts have changed about the percentages in a well
balanced sound system. Many years ago, I felt that the mind was probably responsible
for fifty per cent of the playing of the trumpet, and the other fifty per cent was divided
equally into twenty five per cent for the embouchure. A few years later I still had
retained the thought that the mind was responsible for fifty per cent, but the breath had
increased to forty per cent and the embouchure had decreased to ten per cent. Today I
believe that ninety per cent of all playing is mental and the last ten per cent of the
physical will be divided into nine percent breath and one per cent embouchure. I really
believe that the acceleration of the air has tremendous value as to the releasing of the
necessary tensions that make it possible for long time endurance and a beautiful sound.
The mind is the creator of concepts and attitudes that produce the physical activity
necessary for proper trumpet playing. Wrong concepts can also make playing more
difficult. We are capable of one thing at a time with considerable ease. When we have
to be concerned with two things at a time, playing becomes more difficult, and when we
are confronted with three things, it just literally becomes impossible. If we keep our
minds on a beautiful sound, on accelerating the air through the sound, on not forcing the
sound, and forget the embouchure, many problems will disappear.
From 1975 CLINIC ADDRESS by Prof. William A. Adam
th

Permission to use this in this guide, granted by Mr. Adam, the 4

26

of March 1999.

Quotes from "The Inner Game of Music"

Introduction
People 'play' sports and 'play' music, yet both involve hard work and discipline. Both are
forms of self-expression, which require a balance of spontaneity and structure,
technique and inspiration. Both demand a degree of mastery over the human body, and
yield immediately apparent results which can give timely feedback to the performer.
Since both sports and music are commonly performed in front of an audience, they also
provide an opportunity for sharing the enjoyment of excellence, as well as the
experience of pressures, fears and the excitement of ego involvement.
The primary discovery of the Inner Game is that, especially in our culture of
achievement-oriented activities, human beings significantly get in their own way. The
point of the Inner Game of sports or music is always the same -- to reduce mental
interferences that inhibit the full expression of human potential. (Page 7)

The performance equation


The basic truth is that our performance of any task depends as much on the extent to
which we interfere with our abilities as it does on those abilities themselves. This can be
expressed as a formula:

P=p-i
In this equation P refers to Performance, which we define as the result you achieve what you actually wind up feeling, achieving and learning, Similarly, p stands for
potential, defined as your innate ability -- what you are naturally capable of. And i
means interference - you capacity to get in you own way.
Most people try to improve their performance (P) by increasing their potential (p)
through practicing and learning new skills.
The Inner Game approach, on the other hand, is to reduce interference (i) at the same
time that potential (p) is being trained -- and the result is that our actual performance
comes closer to our true potential. (Page 23 and 24)

27

Self 1 and Self 2


If you think about it, the presence of that voice in your head implies that someone or
something is talking (it calls itself 'I'), and someone or something else is doing the
listening. Gallwey refers to the voice that's doing the talking as Self 1, and the person
spoken to as Self 2.
Self1 is our interference. It contains our concept about how things should be, our
judgements and associations. It is particularly fond of the words 'should' and 'shouldn't',
and often sees things in terms of what "could have been".
Self 2 is the vast reservoir of potential within each one of us. It contains our natural
talents and abilities, and is a virtually unlimited resource that we cab tap and develop.
Left to its own devices, it performs with gracefulness and ease. (Page 28)

Relaxed concentration
Inner Game techniques can reduce the effects of self-interference and guide us toward
an ideal state of being. This state makes it easier for us to perform at our potential by
rousing our interest, increasing our awareness and teaching us to discover and trust our
built-in resources and abilities. It is a state in which we are alert, relaxed, responsive
and focused. Gallwey refers to it as a state of 'relaxed concentration', and calls it the
'master skill' of the Inner Game. (Page 35)

28

A new idea is born


Stopping short in my tracks to think gave me an entirely new idea of correct cornet
playing. I started to play over those same exercises, and in counting my mistakes I
found so many that I turned to the first exercises in the book. After playing the first one, I
found, much to my chagrin, that I had made many mistakes even in this simple
exercise.
Then I turned to the study I had been playing for my faultfinding friend. It was No. 1 of
Arban's Characteristic Studies, in the back part of this Method, the playing of which
requires an elastic lip and much endurance, the first twelve measures must be played in
two breaths. I worked an hour on this particular study, and found I had made a hundred
mistakes each time I played it. When my lips gave out, I realized this study was far too
difficult to use as a means of conquering myself, and learning when and how to breathe.
It seemed that the more I played it, the more mistakes I made. Then I lost my temper.
But, instead of laying the blame on myself as I should have done, I vented my injured
feelings on my defenseless cornet and wanted to smash it on the floor, How foolish we
are to blame our deficiencies on something else, rather than shoulder them ourselves!
And the world is full of individuals who act over and over again the little drama just
recounted, and who never really succeed at anything.
I sat still a few moments after my anger had passed away, leaving me rather ashamed
and sorry, and said to myself: "Well, if I want to be a great cornet player, I must be
perfecting the little things first, otherwise I can only reach a certain limit and stay
there."
With a renewed joy in my work, and a head full of good resolutions, I turned to the front
of Arban's Method and commenced playing the eleventh exercise, setting the
metronome at 120 common time to see if I could play it through in one breath. I found it
difficult at first, tried again, gained another measure, and so on, until I won out. In doing
this, however I had made many mistakes. After I had learned how to take a full breath to
start and conserve my wind at the beginning, I played more easily, and soon acquired
the habit of filling my chest completely with wind before starting an exercise. It was fully
six weeks before I could play the eleventh exercise perfectly in one breath, and with
ease of performance.
Finally, after I had played it ten times in ten breaths, I tried to play it twice in one breath,
and in a few weeks managed to accomplish my aim. This practice was the foundation of
my endurance, which has always been one of the means of my playing the cornet
easily. With the surmounting of obstacles, my love for the instrument grew, and I
realized, as never before, that in order to become a successful player, such a regard for
one's instrument is quite necessary.
Every cornet player in the world, I believe, has an equal chance to become great if each
one strives to conquer himself, to overcome bad habits, and to become perfect in his
practice.
From Herbert L. Clarke How I became a cornetist

29

From "Prelude to Brass Playing"

While it is most regrettable that many students are obliged to start on their own, I feel
that their chances of success may be greatly enlarged through a careful study of this
book.
"Prelude to Brass Playing" describes FIRST PRINCIPLES -- what you should know
before you begin on the instrument. You may be surprised to find, in later chapters, that
you really do not simply "blow" a brass instrument! You do not jam the mouthpiece into
the lips! You do not pull out valve slides carelessly! And so on.
You will recognize the fact that habits are formed early. The first time you pick up your
instrument, you start to form habits. They will be either good habits, or bad habits -depending upon your approach.
Skilful playing on a brass instrument stems from a series of good habits, poor playing,
from a series of bad habits.
It is unfortunate, but true, that bad habits seem the easiest to fall into; they wait at every
turn for the unwary student. And starting over again after years of working the wrong
way; it is harder to unlearn bad habits than to learn good ones.
So STOP SHORT, and THINK! A few weeks of careful study now may save years of
frustrating work later. A little patience at this most important stage -- taking each step in
its turn -- attention to the formation of good habits, will make it not only possible, but
inevitable that you will succeed in becoming an excellent player. While there might be a
momentary thrill to stumbling through a melody now, there can be no real enjoyment, no
sense of satisfaction unless you play reasonably well. (Page 3 - 4)

30

From "Encyclopedia of the Pivot System"

Donald S. Reinhardt
5. What is the proper mental attitude toward study and practice?
The proper mental attitude toward study and practice consists of the student's sincere
belief in his capacity for hard work and unfaltering concentration, a full awareness that
any genuine progress requires time and a justified faith in the ability and integrity of the
instructor. The student must, as the saying goes, 'keep his eye on the main chance."
That is sometimes a difficult task, particularly where the study material seems
exeedingly difficult or exceptionally remote from the type of music the student expects to
encounter during his playing career. But it is absolutely necessary that the student bear
constantly in mind that the purpose of striving toward mastery of very difficult material is
to make all other material seem easier, and that the purpose of striving toward mastery
of a wide variety of material is to assure the development of a well-rounded thorough
musicianship.
6. What is the improper mental attitude toward study and practice?
The improper mental attitude toward study and practice consists of a general
misconception on the part of the student of the entire purpose of study and practice.
This attitude embodies erroneous impressions and undesirable personal traits, either
singly or in combination. In the opinion of the student with this trialady, the instructor is
always guilty until proven innocent. Such a student may come to take a lesson simply to
see what the instructor has "on the ball." He may have been forewarned that the
teacher would "try to change his embouchure" and his visit may be a combination of
fear and general mistrust. Or he may have visited so many teachers previously, with
negligible results, that the new instructor has three strikes against him before the lesson
even begins. Or the student may have such tremendous conceit that he is completely
unreceptive to any suggestions from anyone; his definition of a splendid instructor is
one who will compliment him, not criticize him. Or he may be the type who imagines that
somewhere there is a "magic method" whereby he may acquire overnight the relaxed
perfection while playing for which he yearns. Or he may have formed the habit of
absorbing the remarks of many different players without considering the source or the
validity of the information. Or he may be the type who experiments continually with
31

different model mouthpieces, instruments of various bores, makes and models, lip
exercising gadgets, and embouchure formations, to name just a few of the devices
employed by the escapist. Such closed-minded specimens should realize that logic,
concentration, hard work, and sweat are essential factors for study and practice;
otherwise they should save their instruction money. (Page 3 - 4)
7. What are the three primary playing factors?
The three primary playing factors are: first, the embouchure formation (the lips, the
mouth corners, the cheeks and the entire facial area involved while playing); second,
the tongue and its manipulation (the tongue-arch, the tongue-level, and the length of the
tongue backstroke): and third, the breathing (the diaphragm and abdominal regions, the
ribs, the shoulder blades, the lungs, and the throat).
8. Which one of the three primary playing factors is considered the most
important?
All three primary playing factors (the embouchure formation, the tongue manipulation,
and the breathing) vary in relative importance at different stages throughout the
student's career. Therefore, no one factor may be considered the most important except
in relation to the student's degree of development.
Most of our finest present-day performers agree that they consider correct breathing the
most important physical playing factor. This statement is quite true but only after the
player has arrived at his final stages of playing perfection. Some of these fine artists
have had the good fortune of playing correctly for such a long period of time that they
are inclined to forget some of the difficulties that they too had encountered before they
reached their present high playing level. Much like riding a bicycle, you may have been
riding for so many years that you have completely forgotten the difficulties encountered
and the number of times that you fell off before your sense of equilibrium took hold and
made you a rider.
If a very fine oboist selects an excellent instrument but uses a defective reed, the results
will suffer regardless of whether his breathing is correct or incorrect. The same holds
true in brass playing! It is logical to assume that the embouchure formation (the lips, the
mouth corners, the cheeks, and the entire facial area involved while playing) and the
tongue manipulation (the tongue-arch, the tongue-level, and the length of the tongue
backstroke) must not only be functioning properly as separate and independent factors,
but must definitely be synchronized with the breathing factor (the diaphragm, the
abdominal regions, the ribs, the shoulder blades, the lungs, and the throat) before any
relaxed playing perfection can possibly take place. For example: if a performers playing
difficulty is analyzed and traced to a faulty embouchure formation, the error must
certainly be corrected and the tongue and breathing factors be given ample time to
compensate themselves the new and slightly different blowing resistance of the
"adjusted embouchure" before coordination of the primary playing factors can be
obtained. (Page 4)

32

How and what to practice

Practice is a time put aside to work, work, work with dedication and commitment to
becoming not only a better player but to realize (in time) what we all strive for, AND,
that's to earn the right to someday be called A MUSICIAN. A most royal title, if you
please!

The one thing that a lot of students do, is to try to practice for 2 or 3 hours at a time to
(as they say), build up their endurance and range. This is not going to do anything of the
kind. After a certain length of time (maybe the first half-hour or 45 minutes) you are not
accomplishing anything but fighting your own tired lip. As some of the greatest trumpet
players in the world advise --- DON'T PRACTICE LONG BUT PRACTICE OFTEN.
Every time you have 20 minutes of your own, reach for the horn. It's amazing how much
can be accomplished in that time especially if you are close to having a passage work
out for you. It may well be the best 20 minutes you ever spent.

WHAT should I practice? There's only one answer to that. WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW
OR CAN'T PLAY!!! Quit playing and practicing all the things you can play at an ungodly
tempo to prove to yourself that you're a pretty good player. You can only "gas" yourself
for so long. Review some of these things and then go on to the important part of your
practice, the things you can't play. Work on them exactly the same way I told you to
practice the passages in the etude. Remember? You see --- if you practice something
100 times you kinda get the sound in your ear --- if you practice it 200 times, you get a
little familiar with it --- and, if you do it 300 times, you get kinda friendly with it. If you
were my student, I wouldn't settle for anything less than being married to it!

From The Trumpet Method of Don "Jake" Jacoby, (page 19)

33

Off To A Good Start


This chapter will deal with the beginning trumpet player. How do you get a student off to
a good start? What kinds of things does a beginner need to work on? I will discuss
some of the approaches I have used with beginning students. Hopefully this information
will be useful for both the student and the teacher.
What Age?
What age is realistic for a child to begin the trumpet? There is no clear answer to this, of
course, and it will depend on the student. My own advice to parents is that eight or nine
years old is a minimum age to start to expect any serious study of the instrument.
Because the production of the sound is largely a function of the body, the student must
have sufficient muscle and lung development to deal with the demands of sound
production.
If a parent wants to start their child on music earlier, I always suggest piano. A child can
get a sound right away. (For that matter, a cat can get a sound on a piano. Now and
then our cat plays something interesting, usually while jumping out of the reach of the
dog.) The knowledge of the piano keyboard is almost essential to all music study, and
any experience with the piano will benefit the study of other instruments.
Young'uns
I have found that teaching most eight-year-olds demands more expertise at dealing with
the psyche of that age group than expertise with the subject matter. They have a limited
attention span, and are highly unlikely to think of their trumpet practice as the most
important thing in their life. The most important aspect at this age is emphasizing the fun
aspects of playing. Make the trumpet something they want to pick up and play, not
something that has to be practiced. (Groan) Some of the activities I have found to be
'fun' are:

Making animal sounds on the mouthpiece and the horn.

Playing as loud as possible.

Playing as soft as possible. (My personal favorite.)

Holding a note as long as possible. (Keep records.)

Trying to make a sound while placing the mouthpiece on different places on the lips, even way to
the sides. (This encourages experimentation in mouthpiece placement, helping them to find the
most beneficial placement. More on this later.)

Fast trills or alternate fingering 'licks'.

Breathing exercises. (see Brass Tactics)

Blowing out a candle from increasingly long distances.

Blowing paper boats across the water.

34

Holding a piece of paper against the wall with the breath.

Lying on the back with a weight on the abdomen to feel the expansion.

How Long Should They Practice?


A beginner on a brass instrument at any age is unlikely to have chops that will last
longer than 15-30 minutes at a time. Like all players, they should stop playing before the
lips feel completely wasted, so that they feel reasonably good when they return to the
horn.
I always recommend that students keep the horn out of the case at home. (In a secure
location, please!). This encourages them to pick up the horn at various times throughout
the day. There should be one dedicated practice time each day, but picking up the horn
for a couple of minutes at a time can really help the lip muscles get used to the
sensation of playing. I tell students that it is more important how long it has been since
they last practiced, than how long they practiced the last time. While not forgetting the
'fun' rule, they need to be made aware of the importance of daily playing.
For complete beginners, one 15-minute practice session, and two to four 'pick-up
sessions' is reasonable. This should increase to a half-hour fairly quickly as the
embouchure starts to develop some strength. For some students, a half-hour practice is
an eternity, but I call it a minimum to justify the time and expense of lessons. Interjecting
a short listening session (recommend or lend some recordings) into the practice routine
can lengthen the time spent with the trumpet, provide a rest period, and focus the
student on the reason they are doing this: music.
Adult Beginners
I've started a number of adults on trumpet. My first question is always "Why the
trumpet?" I am interested in what draws an adult to this instrument. Usually they are a
fan of some kind of music that features trumpet playing (jazz, classical, Latin, etc.) This
sometimes puts them at a disadvantage compared to kids. They have more of an idea
of the end goal. They want to play like Miles or Wynton and it can be depressing when
they start to get an idea of how long the road is that awaits them. I try to make it fun for
them as well, incorporating more listening into the lessons, or maybe introducing some
basic jazz concepts that can be performed with their limited ability on the instrument.
This is a tough activity to learn late in life, but it can be done!
With brass playing, patience is not only a virtue,
it is a necessity.
Returning Players
I heard from many readers of Brass Tactics who dropped the instrument at some point
in their lives, and are now returning to it. The level of accomplishment once achieved
will affect where you pick back up, but certainly some time spent with the basic
techniques presented here will be beneficial to you.
Some players who gave up the instrument suffered with bad habits, which likely
contributed to a sense of frustration, and eventually defeat. Many were self-taught, or
had non-brass instructors. For these players, it is probably best to start right at the
35

beginning, and learn the correct way to play. You will likely progress faster than
somebody who has never played, and some aspects may still be clearly recalled, such
as fingering and reading. Put the time in working on clear controlled sound, and don't be
in a hurry. It is more satisfying for the listener and the performer to hear one note played
well, than ten (or a thousand) notes played in a mediocre fashion.
You Call That A Big Breath?
Before attempting to get a sound on the instrument, a discussion on the importance of
air and the control of it is in order. They don't call it a wind instrument for nothing. Trying
to get a sound out of a brass instrument without an abundance of air is like learning to
drive a car with almost no gas in it. You keep stopping and interrupting the driving
lesson while you are towed to the gas station, only to put in another twenty-five cents.
Work with the student to develop the concepts of really deep breaths. Use breathing
exercises like the ones found in Brass Tactics. Make them take long slow breaths
before attempting any playing on the horn. If you catch them taking a shallow breath
before an attack, call them out on it. Make them exhale all their air, and take a full
inhalation. Get them in the habit of really using their air right from the first note. The
difference in the sound produced and the ease of playing will be huge.
Sit Up Straight!
Now a brief discussion of posture and how it affects breathing. One technique I use is
quite effective. I have the student sit down, and put their hands up in front of them. I
hand them a pair of dumbbells or heavy books. I then tell them to stand up, sit down,
stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down etc. Once the player has figured out the pattern
(takes longer with some than others), they will not sit back into the chair, but will sit up
on the front of it, to help them deal with this annoying activity.
This is the seated posture that I want. The player should be able to stand right up from a
seated position without leaning forward. The added weight of the dumbbells forces them
to tense their abdominal muscles when standing, mimicking the air support that is
required when playing. Whenever I see them start to slouch I issue the command Stand
Up! They get the idea.
How Do You Hold This Thing?
Explain how to hold the trumpet. The left hand has several possible grip positions,
discussed at length in Brass Tactics. The size of the player's hand obviously impacts on
the choice of position. The important considerations are this: the hand must have a solid
grip on the valve casing, with the ability to extend the third slide (tough for kids,
especially with slides that don't move easily), and all the weight of the instrument must
be carried by the left hand.
The right hand should be curved as if holding a baseball, fingertips on the valves, thumb
under the leadpipe, and little finger out of the ring. The sole job of the right hand is to
manipulate the valves.
Fingering
I advise students not to try and play anything if they are unsure of the fingering.
Rehearse the fingering by itself first. They should hear the snap of the valves going
down and coming back up. During rest periods in the routine, they should finger scales
36

and patterns to increase finger dexterity, maintain mental focus, and accomplish
something during otherwise 'down time'.
The Embouchure
I give minimal instruction to a beginner regarding the embouchure. I suggest they
whisper the letter 'M', which closes the lips and rolls them slightly inward. I then have
them tighten the mouthcorners, which provides the compression necessary to produce
vibrations when air is blown through the lips, and prepares the lips to accept
(grudgingly) the mouthpiece.
The mouthpiece is placed on this tensed embouchure. It should initially be placed dead
center on the lips, but the player should feel free to move it slightly to a position that
feels the most comfortable. Mouthpiece position varies a lot amongst players because
of the different teeth and lip structures. The ultimate placement for the mouthpiece will
be determined by the sound, and that may well change over time. But to begin, the
player must first get a sound, any sound.
Now the player takes a breath through the nose and blows through the lips and Voila,
out comes a double C! Well, maybe a G in the staff. By varying the lip tension and
intensity of the air, the player should be able to get at least two different open pitches,
probably low C and the G above. Some can easily get 3rd line C as well. Examples of
the desired pitch and sound played by the teacher are invaluable at this stage. The
student must have some idea of what they are trying to do, if the body is to have any
chance of accomplishing it.
Some time is now spent on those open notes. Hold them out as long as possible. Try to
crescendo and decrescendo. Try to bend the pitch down and back again. With nothing
but demonstrations by the teacher, the student should be able to instinctively copy.
7 Bugles
At this point, I undertake a basic explanation of how the instrument works. Using the
chart found in Brass Tactics, I demonstrate all of the open tones that can be played on
the instrument, the overtone series. I play some bugle calls, to give an example of the
limited melodic possibilities available in a trumpet with out valves. I discuss how trumpet
players used to have natural trumpets in different keys, and how that led to the
development of valves, which essentially combines 7 bugles into one instrument.
I then point out that each valve has a slide attached to it, in three different lengths.
When the valve is depressed, the air is channeled into it, effectively lengthening the
instrument. The student then holds an open tone and then depresses the second valve.
The tone drops by a half step, the smallest interval used in Western music. We try this
on each open tone. On the chart once again I show how this creates an entire overtone
series one half step below the open series. We now extend this to all the other
descending valve combinations:
Open
2
1
1,2
2,3
37

1,3
1,2,3
The chart shows that when all of the overtone series are combined, we achieve a
complete chromatic scale, and in fact overlap on certain notes. It answers two common
questions:
"How can we play so many notes with only three valves?"
"Why can some notes be played with more than one valve combination?"
Chromatic Scales
From each open tone the student can play, she descends chromatically using this
series of valve combinations and ascends back to the open note. In the following
lessons it is explained that because the open notes get closer together as they go
higher, there are fewer chromatic tones that will be played between them before
reaching the next open tone, where the series begins again.
Through this exercise the student learns a bit about the physics of the trumpet. (It is
amazing how many relatively advanced students still don't understand exactly what
happens when a valve is depressed.) They also expand their repertoire of notes
dramatically, even if they don't know what note they are playing yet, and the fingers start
to get a workout.
To The Mouthpiece! Tally-Ho!
The best way to establish proper playing mechanics is to focus on the mouthpiece
alone. This is true for beginners and advanced players alike. Playing on the mouthpiece
alone focuses on the essential elements of producing the sound. Some teachers don't
even introduce the instrument at all for the first few lessons, but I think the student
should have the fun of blatting out a note on the trumpet first. It may also initially be
easier get a sound on the trumpet than on the mouthpiece. Once the student
understands the concept of vibrating the lips to produce a sound, he should be able to
buzz a note on the mouthpiece as well.
After a pitch is produced on the mouthpiece, encourage the student to experiment with
tightening and loosening the mouthcorners and blowing faster and slower to change the
pitch. Try to play as low as possible and as high as possible. Connect the notes with a
siren. Then try to play a simple tune, like a nursery rhyme or national anthem. It will
probably sound nothing like the actual tune, but the student will be making an attempt at
changing the pitch, and will unconsciously start to use the tongue to articulate notes.
Playing on the mouthpiece should begin every playing session. The more mouthpiece
buzzing the better. The mouthpiece is unforgiving; if you don't play correctly, you don't
get a sound. It encourages proper embouchure development, develops the ear, and
instils a pitch/lip-sensation relationship. A large part of learning to play is to remember
what the lips feel like when they sound good, and to try to re-capture that sensation the
rest of the time.
When playing on the mouthpiece, maintain proper playing posture and breathing. Use
two hands on the mouthpiece to place the body in the correct position. The use of a
buzz-aid is recommended, so that the mouthpiece can be placed in the horn while
buzzing. (see Buzz-Aids)
38

Tonguing
Once the student can successfully play several notes on the mouthpiece and on the
instrument, I explain the role of the tongue in articulating notes. The tip of the tongue
contacts the gum above the upper teeth and snaps back, as when pronouncing the
syllable 'T'. Have the student practice this several times, whispering 'T' into the air.
This is a very natural practice, of course, since we use that syllable to start many words.
It is good to focus on the action: the syllable is pronounced when the tongue snaps
back, releasing the flow of air. Feel the puff of air that results by blowing on the back of
the hand. Try forceful attacks and light attacks. Do some repetitive articulation: 'tu-tu-tutu'.
Now try it on the mouthpiece and then the horn. Attack one note at a time. Focus on the
action of the tongue, and on the sound of the attack. Try to make successive attacks
identical. Play loud attacks and soft attacks. Play different pitches, but keep repetitive
attacks on one note at a time. Create a simple exercise such as:

One short note.

Two short notes and a sustained note.

Four short notes and a sustained note.

Two short notes, one sustained, two short notes, one sustained.

I make tonguing a part of every practice routine from day one, and try to change it each
week. You can incorporate other notes being learned in that lesson, or a scale when
development permits. Teach the student how to create their own tonguing exercises, so
that they are constantly changing and becoming more challenging.
Slurring
Next I use simple flexibility exercises to teach slurring, such as Phase1of the flexibility
routines in Brass Tactics. This starts on an F#, played with all three valves (false
fingering). The note is slurred down to a C# and back up again. As range permits, this is
moved up a half step at a time, utilizing the seven ascending valve combinations. (123,
13, 23, 12, 1, 2, 0)
At first I just demonstrate, and see if the student can do it. Often they can. If they cannot
get the pitch to slur back up, I will have them slowly bend a note sharper, 'pushing up'
on the note until it flips up to the next partial. If I must give physical instructions, I tell
them to tighten the mouthcorners and blow harder. Trying to consciously control the
muscular actions that govern playing sometimes seems to hinder rather than help, and I
have greater success generally by demonstrating and letting them figure out how to
imitate the sound they hear.
Major Scales
As soon as range permits, a C major scale should be introduced and memorized. I
suggest slurring the scale, and tonguing the arpeggio. (1-3-5) I always teach the related
minor scale at the same time. (Use the key signature of the major scale but play from
the 6th note to the 6th note. This produces an aeolian minor scale.) Two scales for the
39

price of one!
Next I suggest that the scale be practiced starting and ending on all the other notes as
well. (D-D, E-E etc.) Once a student has played a C scale starting on each note, they
are usually delighted and amazed when I tell them they have just learned D dorian, E
phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, A aeolian, and B locrian scales! (They don't have a
clue as to what that means, but it sure sounds impressive and didn't involve that much
work!) Thus the introduction to modes, quite early in the educational period.
As the lessons progress, I introduce two more major scales at a time, F and G, Bb and
D, Eb and A etc., adding one sharp and flat at a time. Each scale is practiced with all
the modes, subject to range. Chromatic scales are also introduced, breaking them down
into groups of 3 and 4 notes, then running them together.
The scale pattern of Clarke's Technical Studies #2 can also be introduced. I show how
the exercise is composed of two patterns. (see Clarke's Technical Studies) This lets
them construct the exercise based on any scale they have learned. I have seen people
play Clarke #2 for years, reading it each time, never recognizing the basic pattern.
Getting students to use their brains can be tough, but is well worth the effort.
First Studies
At this point, it is time to introduce a beginning trumpet book. A book will take the first
few notes that the student can produce, and create simple melodies out of them. They
will show the student what those notes look like on paper, and begin the process of
understanding that the notes on the page merely represent sounds in your ear. A good
beginner book should not only teach trumpet playing, but all the other aspects of music
as well, e.g. note and rest values, key signatures, time signatures, accidentals, clefs,
dynamics, phrasing, tempo, repeat signs, etc. The student needs to be reminded that
they are not just learning to play the trumpet, but learning to play music as well.
There are many very good books on the market for beginning players. I use a book
called 'Learn to Play the Trumpet', by Charles Gouse. I have found that this book is very
clear as it introduces new musical concepts, and uses many small pieces culled from
well-known repertoire. It is very accessible to young students, but is not insulting to an
adult frame of mind. Other beginning books I have used in specific situations include
'Elementary Studies' by Herbert Clarke, and 'Physical Approach to Elementary Brass
Playing', by Claude Gordon. These two books can be daunting to the beginning player,
but certainly encourage embouchure development.
Because a good beginner book is progressive, all the teacher needs to do is work
through page by page, making sure the student understands everything that is being
introduced. Most books include plenty of simple duets. These are essential in order for
the student to hear the teacher and to experience the sensation of blending with another
player.
By using well-designed exercises in conjunction with a book, the sound production
capabilities of the beginning player can be developed much faster. Combining the two
approaches develops trumpet players and musicians, two terms that are not always
synonymous.

40

Giant Steps In 12 Keys


OK, maybe there are a few more steps to go before the beginner tackles this one. I
have outlined the basic information a beginner needs to know in order to start the study
of a brass instrument, plus formulated a basic practice routine to start with. The
assignment sheet might look something like this:
Beginner Routine

Breathing exercises, body stretches, mental focusing, maybe listening to a recording to get a
sound in the head.

Long tones on each open note.

Practice the chromatic fingering pattern down and up without playing.

On the trumpet: Descend and ascend chromatically from each open note .

On the mouthpiece: buzz nursery rhymes, national anthems, pop tunes, sirens, animal sounds. At
least several minutes, the more the better.
Tonguing: single and repeated attacks on different notes. Strive for well defined, consistent
attacks.
Slurring: Simple flexibility studies.
C Major scale: Practice fingering the scale up and down first. Then try to play it, as range permits.
Tongue the arpeggio. (1-3-5-1-5-3-1)
Book: Starting with lesson 1, work out of the book. Pay strict attention to tempo, preferably with a
metronome. Rehearse any fingerings before playing.

Could You Play It For Me?


By far, the most valuable thing a teacher can do for a student is to let them hear what
the instrument should sound like, hopefully by playing for them. Using recordings is
another option. Although I play a lot in my lessons, if I can let a student hear Clifford
Brown or Phil Smith play something they are working on, I do it. Heck, it's good for me
too. Keep the highest standards fresh in your mind at all times.
If a student has the desired sound in their head, it will eventually come out of the horn, if
they work hard enough. Without a clear idea of the desired end result, they are literally
flying blind. So play for them, play them recordings, get them out to live concerts. Put
the sound in their heads. They'll do the rest.
Remember
One note is worth a thousand words.

Chase Sanborn
An excerpt from the soon-to-be-published BRASS TACTICS COMPANION.
http://www.brasstactics.net/

41

The Teaching Philosophy of Claude Gordon


by Matt Graves
"Brass playing is very easy when it is done correctly. It is very hard when it is attempted
incorrectly . . . It is absolute torture when the player is playing incorrectly and trying to
do it by sheer force." (1) Such was my introduction to Claude Gordon in his own words in
1983 when I began studying with him. Having persevered through so many of his own
personal struggles, hardships and obstacles and overcoming bad teachers and
erroneous and absurd playing theories, is it any wonder that Claude became the
practical, common sense teacher that he was?
Looking back through such texts as Herbert L. Clarke's How I Became a Cornetist you
can see that the youthful fascination with "how it works" has been around a long time.
At the present day, the theories on what enables the trumpet enthusiast to play well
abound and prompted Claude to write, "Today there are thousands playing each brass
instrument, and yet the great virtuosos can be counted on your hands." (2)
Claude had an outline of his teaching philosophy in what he called, "The Seven Natural
Elements" which he likened to the physical laws governing the universe. Briefly, the
seven elements are:
1) Wind Power (i.e., breathing)
2) The Tongue
3) Wind Control
4) The Lips
5) The muscles of the lips and the face
6) The Fingers of the Right Hand and
7) The Left Hand.
Regarding breathing, Claude insisted on science rather than fiction. The so called
"diaphragmatic breathing" theory he dismissed on the grounds that the air goes into the
lungs and the muscles surrounding the thorax (chest and back) squeeze like a bellows
in exhalation. The diaphragm is an ultra thin involuntary tissue with very few muscle
strands which flex only during INHALATION to create the vacuum necessary to pull air
into the lungs. His practical teaching on breathing was to take a big, full breath and
keep the chest up during inhalation and exhalation and let the air do the work.
Maintaining posture in this fashion develops the thoracic and abdominal musculature
used in brass playing and preserves the full wind power playing potential.
His teaching on the tongue involved two concepts, namely the tongue position and the
tongue level. Claude advocated the articulation technique passed on to him by Herbert
L. Clarke, one which seemed to lie dormant in Clarke's Characteristic Studies text after
Clarke's death. (3) The technique which Claude referred to as "K Tongue Modified"
involves leaving the very tip of the tongue behind the lower front teeth and producing
the "T" of the single tongue release with the front of the tongue. (4) When mastered, this
technique allows more efficient articulation, a more confident range and increased
42

playing accuracy. After utilizing K Tongue Modified as your "normal" single tongue, the
tongue soon easily moves between the specific level or shape required for each note
and there is no need to switch from one embouchure setting to another from low to high
range. In Claude's words, the player "will learn to feel every note."
Clarke's Technical Studies was one of Claude's tools for developing wind control in his
students. After he was sure a particular student could play Clarke's exercises
accurately and had patiently and willfully achieved this goal, then he would allow them
to strive for speed, repetitions and dynamics. Of course, the player would never be
finished with these exercises. Upon completing the book, they would be assigned to the
beginning again and encouraged to achieve greater results each time. One of Claude's
favorite sayings was, "A good trumpet player can't live without three things: love, good
food and a copy of Clarke's Technical Studies."
"The Lips do not play the cornet. They only act as a vibrating medium . . . " So said
Herbert L. Clarke in a letter to Claude Gordon dated October 2, 1936. (5) Claude's
teaching on the lips was brief and to the point. "Place the mouthpiece in the center of
the lips with approximately 2/3 of the mouthpiece on the upper lip. . . Let the lips work
correctly; do not try to make them work or look a certain way. . . Once your embouchure
is set, forget the lip. . . With proper practice, the lips will take care of themselves." (6)
"Lift fingers high and strike valves hard" was one Claude's favorite rubber stamps. He
would rubber-stamp the student's method books as a reminder for important concepts.
This approach to fingering insures accurate technical execution as well as reinforcing
muscle memory. With enough time and proper practice, it also enables the student to
achieve great speed. Claude also insisted that the trumpet be flat or flush against the
palm of the left hand so that the student could maintain a proper grip on the horn and
thus limit extraneous movements of the instrument.
These Seven Natural Elements could be explained easily and quickly. However,
Claude's tailor-made prescriptions for daily practice routines were much more valuable.
It was here that each student discovered Claude's heart. His was not one beating with
the egotism of the polished brass "theorist," but the steady unfaltering rhythm of a
humble, caring physician, one who had himself been healed and was able to prescribe
the proper remedy or preventive measure. His assigned routines were hand written at
each lesson using all the time-tested trumpet methods and exercises.
The comeback player will do well utilizing Claude Gordon's books Physical Approach to
Elementary Brass Playing and Daily Routines. His book Brass Playing is no harder
than Deep Breathing is also an excellent text of his teaching philosophy. Other books
by Claude include Systematic Approach to Daily Practice, Tongue Level Exercises and
Thirty Velocity Studies.
"Practice, practice, practice until it all works correctly - by habit." - Claude Gordon
(1.)

Claude Gordon, Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing, p. 6.


Claude Gordon, Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing, p. 6.
(3.)
Herbert L. Clarke, Characteristic Studies, pub. by Carl Fischer (02281), p. 5.
(4.)
By front of the tongue, I mean the area of the tongue between the very tip and the center of the
tongue. Note: this is a very subjective matter. In some players this area may seem more forward and in
(2.)

43

others it may seem farther back.


(5.)
Claude Gordon, Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing, p. 29.
(6.)
Claude Gordon, Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing, pp. 30 - 31.

44

Teaching come back students


By Eddie Tiger Lewis

One day I got a phone call from one of my student's father. Normally, when parents call
a private lesson teacher, it's to cancel a lesson. Well, not this time. This father began
telling me that he is the music minister at his church and seeing his daughter do so well
with the trumpet, he had rekindled his desire to take it up again, after twenty-five years
of not playing. He was calling me to ask if he could begin private lessons, also.
I began teaching him the following week. Right off, at the start, I noticed an
uncontrollable twitching/spasm in his lips while he played. This twitching was bad
enough that it had a horrible effect on his sound. After a few months of lessons, trying
everything I knew to try, this student gave up....discouraged and disappointed.
Ten years later, while speaking with a music therapist, I learned that this was most likely
caused by some sort of nerve disorder. In most cases, this type of disorder is caused by
a head injury. Knowing this, I realized that there was nothing I could have done to help
that student, but that doesn't help me from feeling as if I had failed as a teacher.
He was my very first come back student and I've taught many others since. Having
failed so badly with him caused me to take a greater interest in come back players. I
began to notice how they were the same as my other students how they were different.
In most ways they were the same. Scales are scales. Etudes are etudes. Learning and
excelling on the trumpet has certain physical and technical requirements and those
requirements are equal to all players, young or old. But meeting those requirements
soon becomes LESS equal when you take other, non-musical aspects of that persons
life into account.
All of my come back player students were fathers with real, full time jobs. Time was a
significant issue. Students, in school, have many more opportunities to spend time on
their instruments than working fathers do. For some of these come back players to
spend even an hour a day on their instrument is a huge sacrifice. Many of them can
barely manage to put in fifteen minutes of practice each day.
And this doesn't even include time spent playing in ensembles. In my opinion, everyone
who plays a trumpet should perform somewhere. Most of my come back students
played in their church orchestras. But this takes lots of time each week. Most rehearsals
of this time consume an entire evening. Many working fathers cannot afford to give up
an entire evening.
Time Management
So the first issue I would like to address is a general one. There are ways to salvage
your trumpet playing by getting the most out of even the smallest amounts of practice
time.

45

Practice Every Day


The first step and perhaps the most important step to take is in creating an actual,
written down schedule. I know this sounds like something that a band director would tell
some junior high school students, but it's true. Practice every day, even if it means only
practicing for five to ten minutes on some days. Get the horn out and make yourself
spend at least a minimum amount of time on the trumpet.
For those of you who have read my books, this may sound as if I'm contradicting myself.
I have been out spoken in the past about taking days off from the instrument. Well, this
is a little different. It's important to prescribe the right medicine for the proper symptom.
When I recommend taking time off, it's in the context of practicing too much. For the
students I'm referring to now, come back players, practicing too much is never a
problem. The problem is that, with the trumpet having to take a lower priority than the
student's job and family, it's easy to neglect your trumpet studies completely.
By practicing every day, you are enforcing a habit. This is a very important thing, not
only for practice purposes, but it also shows the people in your life that you are very
serious about playing the trumpet. I've found that the more consistent people are in their
practice habits, the more respect they receive from their family members and the people
they work with. This leads to fewer and fewer distractions in the long run because
people who respect your practice time won't be as inclined to interrupt it.
So, that's my first point, practice every day, even if only for a minimum amount of time.
The reason for this is less physical than it is mental, psychological and social.
Use Check Lists
Then the problem becomes, "how do I cover all the things I need to cover in such short
practice sessions?". Well, this isn't just a come back player's problem. I face this
problem every day. The STUFF that I practice couldn't possibly be done, all in one day.
In fact, what I do in my practice sessions sometimes takes years to complete.
My solution to this problem is in using check lists. I have a list of everything that I
practice. As I finish something, I check it off the list.
Why?
This does two things. First, it helps you to know, before you begin practicing, exactly
what needs to be done in that particular practice session. Since time is such a big
problem, it's important to not waste that time trying to figure out, "what should I
practice?". These check lists help me get straight to work.
Secondly, keeping check lists helps us keep an over all concept of which direction we
are heading in our practice sessions. It gives us the "Big Picture" of everything that we
want to get done. That way, if something doesn't get finished in one session (something
which happens to me all the time), you know, by having a complete concept of your
goals and direction, you know to pick up where you left off and continue with that work
until it's completed.

46

Without the check list, you may get half way through something on one day only to
inadvertently start an entirely new project in your next practice session. When this
happens it usually means that the work you did in the previous session ends up being
for nothing, wasted time, wasted effort.
Remember, we're talking about the value of time here. The time you spend practicing
will be far more valuable if you complete a project before moving on to the next one.
This eliminates the "hit and miss" kind of practicing that can happen in a less organized
practice session.
Don't Sacrifice Rudiments
I had one student who was a doctor. He told me:
"I could teach you in a few hours how to remove a person's appendix. I'd show you
where to cut and what to do. It's simple. You wouldn't be a doctor, but you could
perform this one operation. That's how I want you to teach me to play trumpet. I don't
want to practice all that boring stuff that other teachers make me do."
Well, that student didn't take lessons for very long. We kept running into "problems" in
his playing in which the most obvious solutions were "boring". He didn't want that. He
wanted the "magic wand treatment".
You cannot get around the rudiments. As I said in one of the first paragraphs, the
trumpet has certain physical requirements. Those needs must be satisfied.
However, it's not as gloomy of a picture as it may seem. In my opinion, the rudiments
that a player should cover include:
Long Tones
Lip Flexibility
Articulation
Scales
These are the bare minimum. I also recommend:
Lip Buzz
Lip Bends
Flow Studies
Pedal Tones
Multiple Tonguing
But these, for someone with very little time to practice, may be to luxurious to spend too
much time on them. But I strongly recommend the first four rudiments. Do them every
day. I know, that can be boring too, but there are alternatives to exercises. For example,
many people have played lyrical studies instead of long tones, with great success.
Some people have even replaced long tones, in their practice sessions, with jazz
ballads.
47

Do you see what I mean? It is so very important that you should practice these
rudiments, but it really doesn't matter what form these studies take. If you're working on
a solo which has lots of tonguing, you can use that instead of tonguing exercises. The
main point is that you really shouldn't neglect the rudiments because of the severe
effects it has on your playing.
Long Term Musical Memory
One of my come back players was by far better than the other come back players that
I've taught. He's a lawyer and decided to do something for himself for a change. That
something was to play trumpet again. From the first lesson, I could tell that he was
already doing very well. But he thought it was awful. He kept referring to how well he
played in high school and how badly he wished he could play that well again.
Consider this:
When I was in eighth grade, my school band made a recording of our final concert. This
was in Hawaii. The following Summer, my family moved to the main land, to El Paso,
and my copy of the LP was supposed to be sent to me in the mail. Well, I never
received it. I had very fond memories of that performance. I had a really big solo and I
always wished I could hear that solo again.
Almost twenty years later, I decided to get in touch with my band director from that band
to tell him that I was a professional trumpet player. I thought he might like to know. Well,
while I was on the phone with him, I mentioned that I never received my copy of that LP.
I mentioned that I was certain that none existed any more, but he corrected me and said
he had several and he sent me a copy within the week.
I thought I was a good trumpet player in jr. high school. I've always wondered why I've
had so much trouble making the kind of progress I used to make back then. After
hearing that recording, I realized that my memory had tricked me. What I remembered
about how I sounded back then was nothing more than a mirage.
And this was not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, it seems to be an on
going reality in the life of any musician. Our memories are not "rock solid" and for some
reason, they do change over time. This is exaggerated in the context of music.
Applying this to a come back player, it's important to note that a person's musical life
doesn't end when they retire the instrument. Music is all over the place. It's on TV, in the
movies, at the restaurants and involved in just about every aspect of our lives. What we
consider to be "good music" changes as we get older because of the thousands of new,
musical experiences we have in our lives.
In most cases, our memories from when we were younger, playing in school bands, are
not memories of sounds, but memories of accomplishments. When we have a
successful performance, we remember how good we did, but we don't necessarily
remember how it sounded. We remember how much we liked it, how much we enjoyed
it, but the actual memory of the sounds doesn't last as long.

48

Leave the Past in the Past


So, don't judge your current playing based on how you think you used to play. Your
memory is wrong. You may remember that you had greater range, but perhaps
(unknown to you) it was with a sound which you wouldn't find acceptable today.
Perhaps you remember that you had better technique, but maybe you were sloppy back
then and didn't know enough about music to recognize it. I understand that, for many
come back players, reliving the past is a big reason why they picked up the instrument
again. But this is not the way to "relive" that past.
When you were younger, you approached the instrument with a fresh out-look. It was
something new to you and you marveled at the sounds you could make. Each new thing
you learned gave you more reasons to find joy in music. The way to relive this
experience is to forget what you had done in the past and approach it with the same
"freshness" as you did when you first began playing. Explore your playing like you did
when you were a child. Rediscover these simple musical moments as if you'd never
known them before. THEN, and only then, will you be truly "reliving the past".
Other Distractions
It always seemed to me that my come back students had far more mental and/or
psychological problems than they did physical problems. Constantly judging themselves
based on memories of their youth is one of the common ones, but there were many
others. I had one come back student who was never satisfied with his playing because
his daughter was so much better than he was. I had another student who was made fun
of, by his friends and almost let this cause him to give up. Then there's the simple
insecurity that comes with doing something you haven't done in a long time.
The trumpet playing "experience", for the come back player, is a very unique one. I hate
to see those experiences tarnished by these kinds of problems. If you look at the
common "root" of each of the problems that I've listed in the previous paragraph, you'll
notice that they each involve comparing yourself to someone else. It's a kind of
competition and it's entirely unnecessary. This kind of competitive behavior is
reactionary to your musical progress. I do agree that some forms of musical competition
do help encourage musical growth. However, these kinds of competitive thoughts are
more like jealousy than they are like real musical competitions.
Instead of competing with others, I recommend that you keep track of your own
progress and base your self satisfaction upon whether or not you have achieved your
own personal goals. Don't concern yourself with what other players are doing. Even if
you are a "competitive type" of person, the best way to compete is to push forward,
make progress. I know this is an old worn out example, the I LOVE Aesop's story about
the Tortoise and the Hare. The reason I love it so much is that I am a living example of
the truth behind that story and that I've seen many of my students who achieved great
things through consistent progress.
Another suggestion I have is, instead of competing with other players, have fun with
them. Invite them over for duets. Begin a brass quintet.....just for kicks. Something I
used to do a lot of when I was at UTEP was to play Aebersolds with friends of mine. We
49

traded choruses of our favorite songs and did this for hours. Even better than that, why
not have a jam session? There are all kinds of ways to "have fun" with our trumpet
playing buddies. Why not do these things instead of dwelling on who's better than who?
The Physical Trumpet Pyramid
I should mention that most of my come back students studied with me because they
heard about my "method". I developed a concept which I call "The Physical Trumpet
Pyramid". It's a VERY simple concept which outlines the dependencies of the different
physical aspects of trumpet playing. It establishes sort of a hierarchy of physical aspects
which aids us in determining what order the different rudiments should be practiced.
By following this order, the trumpeter can "rebuild" his or her playing from the bottom
up. I personally use this concept, this order, on a daily basis. By doing so, I am, in a
sense, rebuilding my embouchure on a daily basis. And this is the most common
application of the Physical Trumpet Pyramid concept.
However, I also use the same concept to help come back players return to the trumpet.
The main difference between this and the daily application of the PTP concept is that
the come back players can spend as much as two months to get through the full outline.
It's a more horizontal approach.
Using this approach, the come back player would work on only lip buzz for the first
week. The following week, he would work on lip buzz first, then follow that with some lip
buzz exercises. In the third week, the come back player would do lip buzz, mouth piece
buzz and long tones. The concept is to add only one level of the pyramid, one step in
the order, each week. By doing this, you are rebuilding your playing from scratch.
Beyond the initial rebuilding, can you imagine how beneficial a "daily rebuilding" would
be for a come back player? For me, a person who makes my living playing the trumpet,
this daily rebuilding helps me to ward off unsuspected bad habits. But for a come back
player, the Physical Trumpet Pyramid structure helps reinforce good playing habits that
aren't necessarily firmly established as of yet. It serves as a daily reminder. One time
through the outline and you think to yourself, "oh yeah, that's what it's supposed to be
like to play the trumpet".
The following is the order in which I do my rudiments each day:
Air Exercises
Lip Buzz
Mouth Piece Placement Exercise
Mouth Piece Buzz
Long Tones (w/lip bends)
Flow Studies
Lip Slurs
Articulation Studies
Multiple Tonguing Studies
The order listed here is taken from the concept of the Physical Trumpet Pyramid. The
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beauty of it is that it's just a list. You don't have to buy any books. You can use the
books you already have and simply practice the exercises in those books in the order
given above. It's as easy as that!!!!

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The eternal airstream


By Jeanne G. Pocius

Sadly there is still much misinformation about the playing musical instruments... Much of
that is perpetuated by those who continue to teach what works for me, when the truth is
so obvious as to be ignored, that truth being:
What works for YOU is what your teacher needs to emphasize!
Think of how many students were misled by the smile system school of thought, then by
the frown system (which is, after all, merely a smile turned upside down), and lately by
the nonsensical Tighten your corners school, which is, once again, a reincarnation of
the smile system in new wrapping paper....
The truth is that any system will work, TO A POINT!!! The facts are that any system
that works against your natural setup will inhibit you at some point....Those who have
switched from trombone or baritone or flute to trumpet will need to use tighter corners
for a while, until they develop better small motor control of the orbicularis oris muscle
(which is much more lax in those types of players, including the tubists, Arnold Jacobs
included, who rely so much on song and wind that they forget the necessity of using the
smaller muscles to support the air...)
Think of this... If, when you were learning to write, the teacher insisted that you hold the
pencil in a way that was difficult or impossible for you, would you have learned to write
very well? No, of course not!
Or, if the teacher told you to concentrate on what you wanted to write, not the process
of writing, would you then be able to maneuver the pencil, without knowing how to form
the letters? Again, of course not.... Or even, if the teacher told you to concentrate on
the muscles of your arm, or the flow of the paper across your desk could you then
write?
No, you needed first to learn to hold the pencil (which required you and/or your teacher
being able to recognize which hand was dominant, or you'd be fighting the whole time
for mastery of an alien hand), then to apply the pencil to paper, at first using a large,
thick pencil and writing in huge letters, then as you gained mastery, learning to use
smaller size pencil and print.... Finally you learned to write in cursive, with a fine-line
pen or even a fountain pen, or perhaps even mastering the fine art of calligraphy!
In playing any instrument much the same process must be followed...Sometimes we
must regress to the point of holding the pencil(locating the mouthpiece on the lips, or
even correcting the size of the mouthpiece)...
Sometimes, we need only go over the formation of certain letters, or change the angle
(left to right) or tilt (pivot: up or down) of the paper (instrument)....

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But it is always far easier to teach the right way from the beginning than it is to
undertake remedial work....
That is why I advocate using the very low pedals, even from the first lesson for
beginners....That is also why I feel buzzing to be important...There are those who can
play without buzzing first, but their row becomes much harder to plow without removing
those big rocks (non-buzzing styles of playing) first....
It is important, always to move from mastering larger muscles (and concepts) to smaller
ones (like learning general principles in school before specializing in a particular field)....
The slow, low pedals enable good buzzing...I DON'T advocate the first octave of pedals
... Why? because they inevitably lead to bad habits in beginners or CP (comeback
players), such as closed teeth and open apertures (both are bad things)...
Once someone has become advanced, and their embouchure is strong and stable
almost ANY exercise can be applied beneficially... But I feel it is irresponsible to
advocate such exercises for less than advanced players....
Too often, again, there are players who are very strong, who advocate what works best
for THEM, not for the student who is seeking guidance....
That's why I strive to understand the student, and offer general principles first, before
the specifics and the details of development....
Beyond the buzzing of lips and mouthpiece, and the use of the double-low pedals
(elepharts or elephant farts as we kiddingly call them), I like to use lip trills (at first just
one note to one other note, then later the actual trills or shakes), and flexibilities (even
with young players, I encourage them to do so on their mouthpieces, imitating a bee, a
lawnmower, or a siren--police or fire in the US, I don't know if that works worldwide,
though)....
And tonguing is very important... I begin the q syllable early on as well...Always
emphasizing the shape of the tongue in articulations as well as the striking surface...
And most important of all is the use of the eternal airstream... Keeping the energy
flowing even after you cease to produce a sound... This is a key to musicality in
performance....

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Inner Teachers
By Jeanne G. Pocius
Sometimes all it takes for a child (or the child inside any of us) to succeed is for
someone else to encourage them...
For many years I've kept a big sign high up on the wall of my teaching studio with a
simple, two-word message: I CAN!
I don't allow my students to say I can't.... It's okay for them to acknowledge that they
haven't reached their goal yet, it's okay for them to know that they still have a ways to
go, but it's not okay, in my opinion , for them to practice self-defeating behavior....
Think of the difference! Even by saying I can't do it yet, you are allowing negativity to
creep in...It's far better to say I'm progressing or even Every day, in every way, I'm
getting a little bit better and better (thanks to Mr. Norman Vincent Peale)....
Another concept that is helpful is to realize that your grasp never exceeds your reach...
For example, if you want to grasp a pencil on the other side of your desk, but only
reach a quarter of the way across the desk, you won't succeed. But if you reach beyond
the end of the desk, grasping the pencil (which is merely on the other side) becomes an
accomplished fact!
The same is true for trumpeters....Each of us must be our own, inner teacher in order to
succeed (however you might define the term succeed)... Your trumpet teacher/band
director/colleagues at best are with you for scant hours every week, so their influence
on you, though it may SEEM great, pales in comparison to the way you interact with
your inner self on a daily basis....
How many times have you criticized your self in a recent practice session?...Oh, I'm not
talking about correcting yourself--that's very important if you're going to improve... But
have you treated yourself with the same sense of kindness and encouragement as you
would, say an 8 year old beginner?
I know you're not 8 years old, nor are you likely to be a beginner, but you still have the
same sensitivity, deep within yourself, as you did when you were a youngster, or you
wouldn't be very effective as a musical artist, would you?
A few thoughts for you to consider adding to your self-teaching repertoire:
1. Always try three times (no matter what the task)... If you have succeeded by your
third try, then take a break or move on to something else for the time being... You'll
often succeed at your next session (or the following one), but if you keep pushing
after three tries you may be tensing up and/or causing yourself injury... So try three
times, then give it a rest.
2. Record your practice sessions, and listen to them as if they were being played by a
student (this isn't always necessary, but can give you some real insights if done, say,
once a month or so)... Write down your observations and look at them in a day or
two--- BUT make sure that your comments are phrased positively (as in First attack
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in the third movement needs to be clearer NOT first attack in the third movement
STUNK!), and that you actively think about the best way to correct any mistakes
(i.e.: Practice air attacks, then marcato, set the tongue before releasing air...be as
specific as you can)
3. Take some time every day for visualization: SEE yourself succeeding at your goals
(See yourself performing confidently in front of an audience, See yourself confidently
playing that technical passage in your solo, Hear your clear tone and clean attacks)
4. Listen to (and imitate) great artists, both on the trumpet and on other instruments
(including voice).... Analyze what makes their performances seem so effortless, so
musical....
How do they phrase? How do they connect their phrases? How do they release
notes? Practice imitating those phrases, releases, etc...
5. Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing before you play... Breathe in deeply,
thinking of the word HOME (let your mouth form the word as you inhale), Breathe
out slowly, through gently closed lips (but not buzzing), and gradually increase the
air speed by using your torso muscles....repeat this several times before beginning
your regular warm-up....
There are other concepts that are equally helpful, but I urge you to be kind to
yourself while practicing (which doesn't mean you can't also be tough! )

55

Common problems among players


Arnold Jacobs: The most common problems
Although many students come to Jacobs complaining about embouchure problems, he
rarely finds problems with the embouchure.
"The most common problems I have seen over the last sixty-odd years I have been
teaching are with respiration and the tongue. Surprisingly enough, I rarely find problems
with the embouchure. That might sound strange because people come to see me
because of problems with their embouchure, but frequently it is the embouchure
reacting to a bad set of circumstances and failing it is simply cause and effect. If we
change the cause of the factor, it is easy to clear up the embouchure. The embouchure
is not breaking down, it is trying to work under impossible conditions.
When you are starving the embouchure for air volume, giving it all sorts of air pressure
but not quantity, it cannot work. Very quickly you will be struggling to produce your tone.
Just increase your volume of air not by blowing hard, but by blowing a much thicker
quality of air. Very frequently the air column is just too thin."
(Page 218 - ARNOLD JACOBS: SONG AND WIND)
Used with permission from Brian Frederiksen.

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Clyde Hunt: "most often observed" problems


Recently, I have been asked to describe what I see as being the "most often observed"
problems which plague trumpeters.
Trumpet Player's #1 Psychological Nemesis is:
Failure to understand that our "sound" is created, produced, and determined
"internally", BEFORE it is "collected" by the mouthpiece. "Playing the trumpet" is an
essentially internal process.
We do not "play" a brass instrument in the same sense that we "play" the violin or piano;
hence, the "hardware" plays a minimal role in our success - or lack of it! You will
"sound" like you, and I like me, regardless of the equipment! Playing the trumpet is, in
fact, little more than "singing" - while substituting the lip "buzz" for the vocal chord
vibration. Unlike all the other instruments which require a mechanical source of
vibration, "we" are the tone generators for the sound of the trumpet.
There is a widely held belief that "success can be purchased at the local music store".
Unfortunately, this belief is especially prevalent among young players who are, perhaps,
more likely to be impressed by "glitzy" advertisements and testimonials from "stars", and
more likely to be adversely affected by constant experimentation with varying
equipment!
And it appears that many players presume that trumpet "paraphenalia" can be
purchased in the same manner as one would select a new computer! "why yes- I'd like
a 10 gig hard drive, 240 megs of ram, and the fastest available processor", becomes, in
'trumpetese', "Why, yes - I'd like a weirdo 39X mouthpiece...no, wait, better make that
the 39XER ..so I can get those D,E, and F's above High C". "BTW, when are you going
to be getting the new weirdo 39XER-ea extended endurance models? How much more
do you think the new "EA" model will cost?
Sure - it is great fun to purchase new equipment - it may even motivate you to renew
your practice efforts .... for a few days! But it is a grave mistake to believe that
trumpets, mouthpieces, and related "toys" will be of any real benefit for your
progress.......especially, without an understanding of the dedication that is required in
order to become a world-class player.
The Trumpeter's No. ONE Pedagogical Nemesis is:
Excessive external mouthpiece pressure
via the Static Embouchure.
The "partials" or "harmonics" are selected by varying the amount of "forearm" pressure
against the soft embouchure. "Mashing" the lips between the mouthpiece and teeth is
perhaps a more painful description! The embouchure is actually "formed" by the
mouthpiece. As a result, the player finds himself to be more at the "mercy" of the
mouthpiece, and related equipment, than are some other players. I describe this as
"bringing the mouthpiece to your chops".
Psychology implications: An EXTERNALLY orientated, "trumpet as New years Eve
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horn" approach - you blow into "it", "it" produces the sound. All things considered, some
folks are able to become quite good players using this embouchure - up to a certain
point.
However, there are some unfortunate side effects associated with the Static
Embouchure.
1. An upper range limited to D3 or E3 (above the staff)
2. One's "highest" register is limited by the ability to endure pain.
2. A weak low register (tones below middle C - first ledger line)
3. Great problems with endurance.
4. Range is limited to c. 1-1/2 octaves WITHOUT "re-setting" the chops.
5. Relatively poor flexibility.
Overcoming the Static Embouchure and reducing mouthpiece pressure.

The CONSTANTLY ADJUSTING EMBOUCHURE - the basis for this thinking is the
"mouthpiece-less buzz". The functioning of this embouchure is a result of consciously
manipulating the muscles that control pitch and airflow/speed. I describe this as
"bringing the chops to the mouthpiece". An INTERNALLY orientated approach: Pitch is
controlled by pressing the lips INTO each other, and adjusting the airpressure
accordingly. Our highest tone is the point where we are (A) Unable to further compress
the lips, to effect a "higher buzz" - the air "breaks through" our lips at more than one
vibration point, or leaks at the corners of the mouth, or (B) We are unable to supply
sufficient airpressure necessary to "breakthrough" and "buzz" the lips. No buzz, no tone!
You may like to experiment with the "balloon" analogy: Blow-up a balloon while holding
the neck of the balloon with the thumbs and first fingers of both hands. Now you can run
your own series of experiments Re. pitch, airpressure, and compressing/relaxing the
aperture or buzz.
My thinking is that there really is NOT such a great diversity as to how the trumpet is
"blown" - the REAL differences have to do with how that process is DESCRIBED!
I'll conclude with a quote from the PREFACE of SAIL THE SEVEN C'S. Though written
nearly 20 years ago, I have found no need to alter the premises.
"It is the author's premise that all good players play essentially the same way, but due to human variation
both physical and mental, no single approach will be effective for all players. I have further hypothesized
that the greatest stumbling blocks to teaching ``what to do'' while playing are : (A) A lack of scientific
evaluative techniques. (B) A lack of standardized terminology, and (C) the difficulty of trying to
externalize, or verbalize, a process which is essentially internal. In other words, most disagreements
regarding playing techniques are a result of several differing verbal descriptions of the same process. It is
much akin to the proverb of the blind men who gave conflicting descriptions of an elephant, based upon
the examination of a particular appendage of the animal".
"The range of the trumpet, as well as that of all other brass instruments, is contingent upon the chops of
the player. To this end, we brass players have to devote considerable time to the physical development of
our embouchure. I doubt that anyone can promise that any amount of practice will enable everyone to
play the above-mentioned seven octave range, any more than we can guarantee that every jogger will

58

eventually be able to run the four-minute-mile. It is not given that all should be able to do so! But I can
promise that everyone who seriously and conscientiously follows the regimen prescribed in this book will
be able to improve his range and endurance considerably.
The high register will not capitulate to casual practice - but it will yield to those who correctly persist!"

(C) Copyright 1999, B-FLAT MUSIC PRODUCTION

59

Comeback players own stories


CP's own stories - Stanton Kramer
Issues debated
In some trumpet circles, mouthpiece placement is hotly debated, yet in other circles it is
simply ignored. Some teachers advocate just putting the horn up to your face and
playing. This works- sometimes. Some teachers insist on a 50/50 setup. Others a 1/3 2/3 setup. Still others the reverse. Other issues involve what mouthpiece size is
required for a particular player. Even individuals themselves cannot decide what works
best for them.
Airstream not working properly
I happened to come across a short excerpt from the late Arnold Jacobs (in the
Comeback Players Guide). His theory is that most embouchure problems are a resulting
reaction to the airstream not working properly. A lot of things suddenly made sense.
However, I don't believe this is a one dimensional issue. Few players ever suddenly
correct their breathing deficiencies all at once. Because we are not "perfect breathers",
we rely on our equipment to help overcome our deficiencies, even while we
acknowledge and work on them. But sometimes, all too often, we don't recognize the
root problems and go on, doing the same things we always did- expecting the results to
be different on subsequent attempts. If I may use myself as an example...
Back in college
Back in college (I didn't really play trumpet until then) my concept of playing was to open
up the aperture and blow softer for low notes and squeeze while blowing harder for
higher notes. Now that you've picked yourself off the floor from laughing, its sad, but no
one ever told me differently. I was allowed to play a Schilke 18C3D mouthpiece, even
though I had been playing less than 3 years. Everything above an F2 was overblown.
No control at all. I was not a pretty sounding player. I had a loud sound, but can
understand why few folks would want to listen to me play. The setup of my mouthpiece
would be what might be considered to be 50/50. Nothing remarkable here. Smaller
mouthpieces didn't look right or feel right or sound right to my unknowledgeable,
untrained eye and ear. I look back retrospectively and now have a clear idea why my
playing saw no improvement in my 4th collegiate year and the two years post-college,
culminating in a 22 year musical hibernation.
Most learning and UNDERSTANDING is conceptual
I have come to believe that most learning and UNDERSTANDING is conceptual. Is your
gas tank half empty or half full? I think the conceptual part of the equation is where I
might disagree with Mr. Jacobs. Yes, I can fully agree that poor air will cause poor
embouchure. However, the embouchure must be prepared to accept the airstream and
do something with it (like buzz). In its present state, my chops don't buzz easily. In other
words, I have to use a little more effort than I'd like to put them into position to buzz with
a minimum amount of exertion. I think that's plain old genetics at work. Can I work past
this? I now think so, but I know I'm going to have to do things a bit differently than
60

before. Its going to feel odd, but once I'm convinced I'm on the right path, I can have the
confidence to stay with the change long enough to be proficient with it. Only time will tell
if any change will be an improvement in the long run.
Things recently discovered
The thing I most recently discovered is that my mouthpiece set could be done
differently. Without going into detail at this moment, I was shown how to accurately
judge how high or low my mouthpiece should be on my face. I found that setting the
mouthpiece in the correct region of my upper lip allowed for better support, while
allowing maximum vibration surfaces. The set was considerably lower than I had been
used to, but the mouthpiece did not cut into the red of my upper lip. The lower lip and
portion of my face just below the lip seemed to come up much further into the cup of the
mouthpiece. Once the new set was learned, the entire mechanics of playing was
markedly different.
It is worth mentioning that I was not told to change the way I flexed, compressed, etc.
The change occurred in response to the new setup. Just by changing the place on
which I placed the mouthpiece on my face created a completely new set of physical
requirements.
The first, most obvious sensation was that I was more comfortable on a smaller
mouthpiece than I had been using (alternately, Laskey 75 or 80 series, similar to a Bach
1C). The flexibility that had been lost while trying the 68 series was not as big of an
issue with the new set. However, retaining the "big" sound that I was used to was
another thing entirely.
But the sound issue was one that I was fairly ignorant about as well. I interpreted
loudness as big and full. Yes, perhaps it was to an extent, but that did not really leave
me much dynamic range. I have come to learn that the fullness of the sound is
dependant on being able to create both high and low overtones at the same time. I think
some people call this "color".
When I would feel around inside my mouth I could feel a pretty big space between my
upper and lower teeth in the front of my mouth. Everyone knows you're supposed to
open your teeth. I played with my teeth open....didn't I? Lets approach this differently.
Instead of thinking about opening your teeth, think about opening YOUR MOLARS. This
means dropping the jaw to create space in the back of your mouth. To achieve the feel
for proper spacing, I was told to put a 1cm plastic cube between my molars. At first I
thought I was going to break either the cube or my lower molar.
FULLNESS! Not loudness
My immediate sensation was that I was creating a larger orifice in my mouth. No wonder
why the sound was so resonant when I tried to play that way. My sound suddenly, from
behind the horn, got brighter! Wasn't I looking for a DARKER sound? Nope. Fuller.
What I initially did not recognize was that I was producing bright overtones as well as
dark overtones AT THE SAME TIME. Translation- FULLNESS! Not loudness. The
fullness stayed with me thoughout my range and dynamic levels. The registers evened
out. What a revelation!!!
However, with the mouth open as much as I was asked to open it, it initially required
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some effort to get the lips to touch and buzz. Again, it was a matter of changing the way
I was muscularly moving my face. Another side effect of the open molars was that my
throat seemed much more open and that the resistance was much more prevalent at
the lips. The open molars seemed to keep from overcompressing. Once I got over the
initial shock of this new feeling and approach, I tried playing some music. At first I
overshot some of the high notes. They somehow didn't seem so high any more and
were just part of my playable range. High C wasn't really high any more. Though I
wasn't ready to attempt to play in the altissmo, my comment was that when I reached
high C, I felt like I had another octave yet that I would be able to play.
Now, we add the airstream to the setup. I find now that I can, almost like a bagpipe,
start to pump air, even before a sound is required, using my tongue and lips as a valve.
Yes, it takes strength, both in lungs and lips, but when done correctly, I play with much
more facility. The bad news is that with any new physical endeavor, it is sometimes hard
to replicate. Also, because I'm not used to using my body in this new way, I get tired
easily. It is hard to know when to stop, as not to return to my old way of playing.
Now comes the challenge
- To be able to play more musically and deal with the performance issues that come up
as greater and greater challenges present themselves.

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CP's own stories - Rune Aleksandersen


I began playing trumpet at the age of 9. My father was the bandmaster, and he had not
intended to let me play. This was a new band, and to get it working as fast as possible,
nobody my age was playing there. But there was a trumpet in my home, and I got hold
of this band book and started practicing. I soon got the hang of it, and since this was a
new band I became a first trumpet player from the beginning. 16 years old, I joined a
community band to expand my horizons. The band was really fun for me.
At the University, I studied Computer sciences. Waiting to be admitted for the master's
study, I took a B.A. degree. At the Department of Music, I was so lucky to be a member
of the faculty big band. This was a really nice experience, trumpet being my second
instrument at that time.
Being 18, I was obsessed by the violin, which I studied heavily for 10 years, seeing one
of the best teachers in the country. So I did not have time to practice the trumpet. But
playing band once a week and having trumpet students kept me in reasonable shape.
In the autumn of 1996, I decided I needed another challenge. I wanted to play lead
trumpet in a big band. My range was not bad, but I did not have the endurance and
control to play up there. So I began practicing, and soon found out that this was not so
easy. Being impatient, I found a band after a few months. The first rehearsal was
somewhat of a chock, the lead sheet being much harder than I had ever imagined. We
played the Frank Foster arrangement of "In a Mellow Tone". Almost every note is a Bflat just below high C and there are plenty of high Ds and a couple of Fs on the way.
Boy, there was lots of arm pressure going on.
On the way, I practiced lots of chop builders. The mouthpiece soon felt small, and I went
into bigger and bigger sizes. I was a mess by the summer of 97. I had to find out what
this was all about? My quest for finding a better way to play had begun. I bought lots of
books and tried to find out about things. My first revolution was seeing a good teacher.
He made me realize that I played with overlapped lips, and that my lower lip was placed
safely on the rim. Getting it into action took about 6 months. A long time, but the result
was really worth it. And he learned me about Bobby Shews lip fluttering techniques,
turning my lips back to normal, so I could play ordinary mouthpiece sizes again.
The next revolution came with Clint Pops McLaughlin around Christmas time of 97. He
got me onto the Stevens embouchure. Playing with slightly rolled in lips and a closer lip
setting really made a difference. I hit my first double C during a gig a short time after
meeting him on the Internet. By the summer of 98, I felt I had good control over my
playing. But I still had the problem of my corners not being as strong as I wanted. And I
began to move my corners inward for the high notes, thinking this was a possible
solution to the problem. This was quite difficult, as the muscles that are responsible for
the inward movement were not developed at all. Several months were required to build
strength. During this time, occasional travels were made to the register beyond double
C, stirring my curiosity of the "pucker concept". And the requirement to change the
mouthpiece came creeping unexpectedly. For some reason, adding pucker to the
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Stevens embouchure tend to overpower a shallow mouthpiece. A deeper and more


open mouthpiece worked much better when stepping on the gas. But such mouthpieces
are a challenge to play. There are so little resistance that one must be real careful to
always play with closed lips and a correct lip curl. Fine control is certainly required.
Some pointers that should work regardless of the embouchure used:

Always play with closed lips

Align the aperture between the teeth

Soften the lips with lip flapping and buzzing

Learn to buzz the lips

Play with little arm pressure

Dont tense the upper body while playing

Dont take in too much air for the high notes

Practice the basics

Be patient!

64

CP's own stories - Tim Hutson


I am now in my 3rd year of an embouchure change. Well, actually, I've been playing for
about 3 years (my second trumpethood) and I have been searching and learning for that
long. I started again after 30 years when my high school alumni band contacted me
about playing for a parade. I figured it'd be fun. I had not played since high school. Little
did I realize just how much I missed playing the horn. I have not stopped playing since. I
practice about 360 days out of the year.
Many things came back to me once I started playing again. However, there were many
that didn't too. One of the little things that bugged me was going from B to Bb. There
were three notes instead of two! Some of the finger dexterity/coordination was missing.
Practicing slowly to do it correctly was the only way to get it back. The chops? Of course
they were gone. But also gone was my ability to read music. Sure, I knew which buttons
to push but reading syncopated rhythms and accidentals required slow deliberate
practice in order to get them back. Breaking the beats down into smaller intervals help
with this ( e.g.: 1-and-2-and- ... instead of 1,2...). Another help was just slowly reading
through a pattern until I understood it. This allowed me to interpret the pattern the next
time I saw it instead of trying to read each individual note again. Playing duets with a
friend who was a good reader was perhaps the most effective way for me to re-learn
how to read the music. Lots of fun too.
One pitfall that I think is very difficult to avoid for a comeback player (it was for me) is
trying to play what you used to, the way you used to. I believe that without proper
practice and conditioning it will invariably lead to bad habits and poor technique. Range
is one example that is perhaps the most pervasive and damaging. If a comeback player
tries to play the high notes they used to, without developing the required technique and
the moderate strength required, the result can be development of a poor embouchure.
Unnecessary pressure is one frequent result. A poor embouchure not only affects the
high range but the entire range of the player. Their sound and flexibility can be inhibited.
I believe that the pursuit of range (both high and low) is necessary to development of a
good embouchure. Let's face it, every one works on range to some degree. Think back
to when we first learned to play. We played on an embouchure that allowed us to play
our range (in the staff) comfortably. Not with great flexibility, but comfortably. Then, as
we expanded our range we needed to make our embouchure work with increased
flexibility over our comfortable playing range. Extending our range on a single
embouchure setting necessitates adjustment of the embouchure for each note which
adds flexibility. This must be done without excessive pressure and tension though.
Pressure has been one of the biggest impediments to my playing as I'd like. I learned to
play with (as I realize now) a smile embouchure. I therefore am sure that I was a
pressure player in high school. Examination of my bottom teeth confirms this. They are
straight and flat across the front. When I started again, that is the way I started to play;
with pressure. It was not until I started working on both the low (pedal) and high range
that I finally got the feel of how it should be. That is a search that must be made by each
individual. To find the way to incorporate both high and low range into one setting and
type of embouchure without resorting to pressure. Teachers can tell you how but you
must ultimately learn it for yourself. Clyde Hunt's book "Sail the Seven C's" is the book I
credit for showing me how it can be done and how it feels.
65

Another problem I had (and comeback players in general I believe) is practice. A


comeback player is most often someone who has another life. That is, they have a
vocation and possibly other avocations besides the trumpet. The pressures finding time
for family, of car repairs, house repairs, and job pressures all compete for our time.
Finding the time to practice is not always easy. I tended to fill up what usually ended up
being 1 hour's practice time as completely as I could. In so doing, I developed some
improper habits that were tough to break. Mouthpiece pressure, sloppy technique, and
poor tonguing are all problems that can, and did, arise from cramming too much
practice into an hour. A better approach is to select exercises that will work on a
particular aspect and make sure that you concentrate on that aspect as you practice is.
Rest is also important. Some say rest as much as you play. I had thought that by doing
this you would not improve your range or endurance. But these are better approached
separately. Resting during practice does not prevent you from attaining these things but
it does allow you to learn how to play properly. Playing on tired chops only develops
tired ways of playing. How you play is how you have practiced. Learning to play properly
(minimizing pressure and adjusting the entire chops for each note) will allow you to
attain the high range and will give endurance. This was a hard lesson for me to learn
but it is very true.
Another concept that was amazing to me the first time it learned how to do it was
centering the tone. Horns are designed to resonate. That is what gives a trumpet a
sound different than the buzz we get on the mouthpiece. If that resonance is optimized,
the result is that playing is much easier, volume is much easier to obtain, the high range
is easier, you can color your tone, and your sound will be very rich. The sound almost
grabs the listener by the collar and say "LISTEN!". In the playing in high school, I had
never experienced this. It was a revelation. IMO it is a very important aspect of playing
the high range. Playing flat (often the case with me) makes playing high notes difficult
which leads to pressure and/or tension (throat and oral cavity). These in turn make
playing difficult which leads you to more of the same. Tension is now one of the biggest
problems I deal with. It can, in essence, feed on itself (tension leads to more tension in
order to overcome the problem of not being able to play because of tension) with the
result that playing just above the staff with good tone and flexibility can sometimes be
difficult. These times don't happen often but are very frustrating when they do. Usually
they are a result of trying too hard, repeatedly, to play high notes. It is an easy
challenge to get caught up in.
I've read all the suggestions about embouchure and how to practice, yaddita, yaddita,
yaddita... I knew I should pay attention but, hey I'm an independent kinda guy. I can find
my own way. (He said boldly; if ignorantly.) Well, maybe. Then again, perhaps I should
pay attention. From my perspective the common elements that we need to pay attention
to when we learn to play, or when we change an embouchure, both of which apply to
comeback players, include:

Strive for ease. That is, try to adjust your embouchure for each note so that
playing that note is as easy as possible.

Make sure each tone is centered and full. Playing is very tiring if you have to fight
the horn. Work with the horn. This is particularly important when playing the high
range. Try playing an A (in the staff) open (no valves). You gotta work pretty hard
66

to do it.

Minimize pressure on the lips. Playing the higher range is very difficult if you use
too much pressure. Playing with no pressure is not workable either but try to
minimize/optimize it.

Relax. Playing should be fairly easy (strength-wise that is). If you think playing
the higher range will be hard, it will be. Tension (especially in the throat and
mouth) will take over and defeat your best efforts with your embouchure.

Be flexible. Make sure that you always move your embouchure. It seems a silly
statement on the face of it but it is something I have learned (am learning) the
hard way. What you move likely depends somewhat on the style embouchure
you are using/learning. I'm no expert, but, a static embouchure is an invitation to
mouthpiece pressure IMHO.

When playing an exercise, make sure you keep in mind what the exercise is
designed to do for you. The Claude Gordon book "Systematic Approach to Daily
Practice" is good at doing this. Each time an exercise is presented, the specific
aspect of the embouchure that they are designed to address is stressed. It pays
to keep this in mind and concentrate on it. Try to engrain these in all your playing.
At first you may be able to concentrate on only one aspect but they will
eventually become automatic.

Rest. I can't tell you how many times I've heard this (rest). Mostly I thought "Yeah
right. Who has time to rest and play. I'm lucky if I can find enough time to practice
let alone rest and practice." But it helps tremendously. From my perspective
playing the trumpet is not about brute force. I used to think that to play the high
range you needed a Schwartzenegger embouchure. Now I believe it is really a
Tai Chi embouchure; one that is well trained and subtle. The "trick" to playing is
not in developing huge strength (although moderate strength is important). The
"trick" is to learn to control the very subtle changes in your embouchure that
allow you to move from tone to tone easily.

Practicing without resting will lead you to abandon those subtleties for brute
force. It is hard to make a subtle movement with a highly fatigued muscle. Try
running up stairs for a few minutes and then stand with your knees slightly bent.
Not easy and if you are not used to doing this kind of exercise, your legs will
actually shake. Rest and it's easy. What you are trying to learn is subtle control.
Not easy on muscles fatigued with overwork. Endurance is another issue that
can be addressed separately but is also affected by how efficiently you play. If
you learn to play while you are tired (no rest) and develop bad habits, that is the
way you will always play. Learn to play correctly, and only correctly (with rest so
you don't resort to behavior made necessary with fatigued muscles). Then, when
you play, you will always play that way.
One final note. Over-analysis is, for me, a problem. I know that playing can be easy,
including the high range. But, whenever I try to analyze the details of my embouchure, it
usually leads to a sort of paralysis and tension that kills my ability to play over a wide
67

range (low to high). This is perhaps not true of everyone, but I find that if I focus on
finding a way to manipulate my chops (oral cavity and lips) to make playing a note easy,
it is much more productive than getting caught up in the detailed workings of something
I can't see anyway. The downside is that when I have a problem, it is often difficult to
solve. However, using the same approach (ease) is almost always the best way out.

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CP's own stories - Warren Lopicka


1. Background
My father started me with accordion lessons in third grade. I was able to read music
and play the squeezebox by the time I started trumpet in 5th grade. I was a below
average trumpet player through 9th grade. In fact my 9th grade music teacher wanted
me to change to baritone when I went to high school. He said they were short of
baritone players in high school and needed more. I think it was his way of saying, Hey
kid, you sound awful on the trumpet, lets try something else. I took some private
lessons and improved enough to move up in the section. I started to enjoy it so much I
took some band classes in college. I enjoyed playing very much, but when I graduated
from college with an unrelated degree, I had no band to play with and put the trumpet
away in the closet. Twelve years later I got persuaded to play the trumpet with some
Christmas Carolers. I really missed playing and thought I was going to improve on my
previous abilities. The same problems or limitations I once had reappeared.
2. Problems
Ive been in the process of analyzing my Chops for the past two years. Ive spoke
with many players and read many books on How to play the trumpet. (Some of who
are on this page.) MY MAIN PROBLEM was, Playing with my lips apart. I got into
the habit of separating my lips with my tongue every time I brought my mouthpiece to
my lips. It gave me a very fat sound, but as I would ascend my lips would blow apart
and stop vibrating. My range was from Low F# to D above high C. Because I was
playing with my lips apart I used much mouthpiece pressure leading to little flexibility
and endurance. Another problem I had was not having clean attacks when playing.
(staccato, legato, etc..) My band director told me when I was young there is only one
way to tongue. Tongue to the top of the teeth where the gum meets the gums. So that
is what I did.
3. The comeback
First thing a comeback player should do is educate himself on how professionals play.
Some play differently, many have similarities. Realize different sounds have different
chop setups. How do you want to sound?
I want to increase my range, flexibility and power. To do this I had learn to play with my
lips CLOSED. In order to do this you must realize the lips should be closed prior to
introducing air. Your ability to keep the lips close together is the key to success in the
upper register, a centered tone, flexibility, and ease of playing. Less mouthpiece
pressure will be a result of this success. My approach to keeping the lips together is
from the SCREAMIN system.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Put your lips together by saying HMMM.


Bring the mouthpiece and trumpet to your lips.
Without any change in the embouchure, blow a 2nd line G.
Do this over and over until it becomes natural.

(tip) Keep the lips moist by having a glass of water nearby to have a drink when
needed.
Once this becomes natural, work on G Major scale up to G on top of the staff.
69

Remember to keep your lips close together. To do this, you want to think of resisting
the air with your lips. You are working on controlling the lip compression in this exercise.
Lip compression (top to bottom), air stream support, and the balance between the two
of them is the way to address the upper register. Compress the lips, holding a closed
aperture and increase the air until you get the airstream to break through the lip
compression while still staying CLOSED. Once you get this correct feel you can work
on controlling it.
Im in the process of succeeding with this. I now have the ability to work on Clarks
exercises up an octave. I could have never done that prior to learning about lip
compression.

(tip) To learn more about this, do yourself a favor and checkout Bill Carmicheals
Screamin system.
I come from the school that believes tonguing should be done in a fashion that is
appropriate for the music and the player. Others have detailed a variety of ways to
tongue. Experiment and try all different methods and use the ones that you have
success with. I will tongue lightly at times with the tip of my tongue at the roof of my
mouth and at times very hard between my teeth depending what the music calls for.
The greatest piece of information I can pass along to you is....

Be patient, there are no quick fixes.

Use your greatest tool. THE MIND!

Learn how others play the trumpet, and see what works for you.

When finding a method, try discussing it in detail with the author.


(Misconceptions will lead you to a dead-end)

70

CP's own stories - Alan Rouse


My eleven years of trumpet playing in school are now ancient history. Yet today, as I
took my prized Selmer Bb out of its case and insert the Schilke mouthpiece, it was as if I
had never quit. I could almost hear the buzz of the crowd as I would approach
Reynolds Colliseum for another appearance by the mighty Wolfpack basketball team.
We took our places in the sideline seats under one basket, wearing our silly red and
white striped jackets and red derby hats. There would be the normal banter with the
other musicians, a few notes to warm up, and then the first number of the night
performed by the stage band. Maybe it would be the Cherish / Traces medley arranged
by our bass player, or perhaps the MF charts Chameleon or Eli's Comin'. Or maybe the
Stan Kenton chart 'A Little Minor Booze'. Or any of the other numerous pieces that fade
in my memory. Today, twenty five years later, it is a good thing I don't have to play
these same charts in front of 12,400 fans. (No, we didn't even pretend to think that they
were there to hear US!)
After college I sold my trumpet--a BIG mistake. Five years later my cousin got married,
and insisted that I play in her wedding. I hunted around in some pawn shops and
discovered a beat-up old Selmer Radial trumpet that seemed to play pretty well. That
horn and I managed a passable rendition of Trumpet Voluntary, and then the Selmer
disappeared into my closet.
Fast forward 14 years. As I sat in the audience at my daughter's high school band
concert, the fever struck. Suddenly I remembered how much fun this was. And I
remembered my Selmer. The next day I pulled it out of the closet and began to play. A
few things came back quickly. The memory of fingering patterns of scales and my
better-known charts were still there. Range and endurance were absent. I am not
satisfied with the practice time (typically 30 minutes daily) that my schedule permits, but
that is enough to make the horn enjoyable--at least to me!
During that first month I started searching the Internet (where was THAT in my former
career?!! ) and I discovered the Trumpet Players' International Network (TPIN). Being
the bashful shy type (ha!) I charged right in and started posting my questions, and
received some excellent advice as well as some comeraderie with other CB players.
One particularly helpful piece of advice was to obtain a couple of Claude Gordon
method books ("Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing", and "Systematic
Approach to Daily Practice"). A few weeks of close study and practice of Gordon's
method corrected some problems with my approach, closing much of the gap between
my former self and my new self.
From the beginning of my comeback, my intent was to rebuild my skills to a point where
I could trust myself to pick out a horn, and to buy a new one. But after spending
numerous hours in local instrument stores, I decided that I really preferred the way my
Selmer Radial played--but it definitely needed some work! At this point, I made another
discovery from TPIN, a local brass instrument repairman named Rich Ita. I took the old
Selmer to Rich and he transformed it into a beautiful instrument, which played even
better than before.
I find that I require a slightly larger mouthpiece today than I did in college. I don't know
71

exactly why. Perhaps it is because my embouchure is a bit more of a "puckered" style


now, with more of a cushion and less mouthpiece pressure. Or maybe it is because I
am older and perhaps have larger lips now. The larger mouthpiece takes a toll in the
upper register, but I am quite happy with the sound I get in the "meat" of the range.
After a year or so of practicing mainly exercises, I HAD to play some real music. I
started playing along with some old vintage Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke jazz
recordings, and that helped some. I also got a copy of the software package Band-in-aBox and did some playing along with that. But I'm still starving for live performance. I've
discovered a couple of venues where I can bring my horn and "sit in" with a jazz
ensemble, and that is a load of fun--but very challenging since I don't know the
repertoire. I'm about to venture into the "community band" arena to see if I can find a
fit. I believe this is crucial to my continued development. It's time to "go public"--make
an IPO of my music on the trumpet! Is the world ready? Am I ready? We'll soon find
out!
Without fail, when the game was over and Reynolds Colliseum was nearly empty, we
closed out the night by playing an arrangement of the West Side Story favorite,
"Tonight". It was time to "play Tonight and leave". We made a joke of it. But
nowadays, the tune brings a melancholy feeling deep in my soul. Maybe this is due
merely to the circumstances in the musical--the brief moment in the couple's lives when
they were happily together. But in my case I think it is because every time I played it, it
marked the end of a delightful event--something I thoroughly enjoyed for a number of
years, then left behind. But tonight, I can play it again.

To-night, To-night won't be just any night___


To-night there will be no morning star___
To-night, To-night I'll see my love to-night
And for us, stars will stop where they are.
To-day the min-utes seem like hours the hours go so slow-ly
And still the sky is light ___
O moon, grow bright and make this end-less day
end-less night...To-night!

72

CP's own stories - Tom Mungall


I begin playing trumpet at age 12 while in the 6th grade. We were living in Houston,
Texas and there was a strong school band program there. In fact, there was so much
interest at Memorial Junior High School in 1965 that there was 7 periods of band, three
directors and at least 5 beginner bands! My family and I moved back to our home town
of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1966 and I attended Broadmoor Junior High School. The
band program was not nearly as popular in this school but being smaller each student
got much more attention and instruction. I had the typical interest of a young teenager in
playing trumpet and would just as soon sit out of band practice and tell jokes.
Then came the move to senior high school in the summer of 1969. The band director at
Broadmoor High School was a legend and gave up several weeks of vacation each
summer to train the incoming freshman and let us know what was expected of us in
high school band. The band directors name was Lee J. Fortier. He was a former
trumpet player with the Woody Herman Band and had started jazz stage band programs
with high schools in the south Louisiana area. Well in short, my whole concept of what
music, trumpet and band were about was radically changed. The enthusiasm of this
man was infectious! Pretty soon I was taking private trumpet lessons at Louisiana State
University. At first, I studied with graduate students and then progressed to study with
professor George Foss (a former student of the late great trumpet player William
Vacchiano). Pretty soon I was playing in the stage band (jazz big band), marching band
and symphonic band. I tried out and played 2nd trumpet in the Baton Rouge Youth
Symphony.
After graduation from high school I attended college and majored in music, but soon
decided to go into the U.S. Marine Corps Band Program. After boot camp (basic
training) the USMC sent me to the U.S. Navy School of Music located at the Naval
Amphibious Base in Little Creek, Virginia. This was a six month school of intensive
training in music theory, with trumpet lessons, band practice, jazz band practice and
hours and hours of intense trumpet practice. I got to play with and meet musicians from
the Army, Navy and Marines. All in all, it was the toughest education I have ever had
before or since! The school was tough and the consequences of not graduating was
pretty severe...one got sent to a rifle platoon! The very thought of that sent me to the
practice room! I graduated in July, 1975 and was posted to the Second Marine Division
Band. There I learned a lot about professionalism, that is, how to play and keep on
playing your best despite hardship. It doesnt matter how you feel you just play and give
it you all. One might grumble, fuss, cuss and fume but you just did the job in an
outstanding manner.
In the Marines we played all over the country. Once we played for King Olav of Norway
at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. This concert was for the occasion of the 150th
anniversary of the immigration of Norwegians to the United States. We would typically
play 8 to 15 hours per day. Once, I remember the band playing for 90 days like that
without a single day off! Wow but were we ever busy!
In September, 1978 I was discharged from active service from the Marines and decided
to go back to college. I attended Georgia State University and in 3 short years had my
Bachelor of Science degree and a year and a half later my Master of Education Degree
73

in Counseling.
I tried for a time while I was in college to play in a community jazz band but the
demands of school were just too much. So I put the trumpets away from 1980 until
1996. In the fall of 1996, I was approached by our church choir director and asked to
sing in the choir. I told her that I thought she should play me not to sing. She laughed
and she wanted me to try. My wife Catherine got involved and told her I had played
trumpet. Soon I found myself assigned to play a solo in front of the church for
Christmas! I hadnt played in 16 years!!
Back home I picked up my Bach Strad case and opened it to fine the same beauty that I
remembered from High School and the old friend from the USMC. I oiled the valves and
placed the mouthpiece in the receiver. Putting the trumpet to my lips I worried that
nothing would come out. I was wrong. I started by playing the C scale two octaves.
Then I played a few hymns, so far so good. About 30 minutes later I was worn out and
my lips were shot. I started taking the trumpet to work and arriving there about an hour
early so I could practice. I also practiced at home. I discovered an e-mail web group
known as the Trumpet Players International Network through a chance e-mail meeting
with Al Lilly, a professional trumpet player and doctoral candidate in music. Through
them and their unselfish help and assistance I got over many of the bumps in the road
of comeback trumpet playing.
The solo that Christmas of 1996 went well. In 1998, I got hooked up with our community
Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band. Playing is a hobby now and I feel the richer for it
in my soul.
Suggestions for comeback trumpet players:
1. Use only so much pressure as is necessary to seal the mouthpiece to the lips.
2. Keep the corners of the lips tight and relax the center of the lips.
3. I like to use the lip buzzing recommended by Rafael Mendez in his book
Prelude to Brass Playing.
4. Practice consistently in short 15 to 20 minute sessions with frequent rest
periods. I like to leave one of my trumpets out on a table so I can pick it up
whenever I want and play. This avoids the hassle and wasted time of getting
the horn out of the case each time I want to practice.
5. Vary what you practice, technical studies, then lyrical stuff. And most
importantly play musically. Wear out the Arbans Method!
6. Most importantly, have fun!
Thomas G. Mungall
Baton Rouge, La.
http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/tommungall/

74

CP's own stories - Bill Faust


My name is Bill Faust. As of this writing I'm 37 and started my comeback about 5 years
ago, although it has really only been in the last two years that I have been able to make
some real progress as a player.
Like many comeback amateur players, I started playing in grade school (age 12) and
played throughout my middle school and high school career achieving some level of
success both within my own school band and in being selected for regional bands and
other music festivals. In high school I also played semi-professionally in a rock band mostly for weddings - and a small amusement park band. I took some occasional
private lessons but not for very long and while I was somewhat serious I only put in the
minimum effort necessary to get by. So while it was fairly easy to "stay on top" within my
somewhat backwards high school music department, I began to see just how much
better other players were when I participated in regional events that drew players from
better schools. This is one reason I decided not to major in music - the competition
seemed very stiff indeed.
In college I tried to keep playing during my freshman year but it became difficult to find
practice time as I got more involved in my major of Industrial Design. My second year in
college (I was about 19) I was offered a good price for my trumpet - a Bach Strad - so I
sold it and didn't play again until I was about 32.

When I was around 30 my older brother bought me a vintage King cornet as a


Christmas gift. I was very intrigued by it but saw it more as an artifact than a horn I
would play. It played poorly (now I know that it was leaky) and so I just didn't think about
it much. In the next couple of years I was asked to play at a few company parties in
some pick-up bands and I would pull out the King and muddle by. But as soon as it was
over I put it away. When I turned 32 I began to get more interested in the old King
cornet from a historical perspective wondering if there were more old horns out there.
Within a year I had found about a dozen vintage cornets and of course began playing
these to see the differences between them. It was at this time that my wife and I
decided to buy each other a "major" anniversary gift - she chose jewelry and I chose a
modern cornet so I could learn to play again and really give my vintage horns a workout.
The next three years were full of stops and starts. I had my new horn and had dug out
the Arbans books but children, work and a new house just kept getting in the way of
making any sustained progress. Also, I wasn't in any groups or bands and so had no
motivation or influence other than myself. I eventually joined a community band which
was a very good step because it was kind of like being in a support group - most of the
players were (or had been) in the same boat as me. And I had some motivation to
practice - nothing like good old ego to step up the commitment. For about a year I
practiced on and off and made the band rehearsals when I could. But it was still spotty
and while I had moved up to the next plateau in my skills, I still wasn't steadily moving
forward.
75

The big leap came when I was invited to play in a small pit orchestra for a charity play. I
knew this would be a huge challenge but I had a few months to prepare. So for about
three months I practiced every day, even if only for a few minutes. It made a huge
difference and pushed me up a couple of levels in endurance, technique, range etc. The
gig went well (thank God the music was not too challenging) and immediately thereafter
I joined a different community band that held practices on a night that was better for me
and so I could make all the rehearsals. The music is challenging but not out of my
reach. This year I did the pit orchestra again and while the book was much harder I feel
I did a respectable job. And a few other small gigs have come my way.

But I have a long way to go. I feel like I have completed Phase 1 which I defined as
becoming a better player than I was back in college. Now I'm beginning Phase 2 which I
guess I would describe as becoming a serious amateur. But you can only take it one
day at a time. This 5 year journey has taught me a few things that I'll share here but
they're just my opinion and in no way should be construed as being right for everyone:

take the long view and be patient. Playing an instrument is a life-long journey

get to a point where you can play every day, even if its only for 15 minutes. I
found that momentum came from establishing a practice routine and then
building upon it ("If you practice, it will come...")

join a band. Any band!, but community bands may be the best because they
typically have "open enrollment". This will motivate you and give you muchneeded work on sight-reading, blending, endurance etc.

don't get hung up on equipment. It's OK to experiment with horns and


mouthpieces, we all do. But find something that feels OK and then just go with it
for a while

most importantly....have fun! and learn to take yourself lightly and your playing
seriously

My practice routine is something like this (times vary with availability):

long tones (no book)

flexibility studies and lip slurs (Arbans and made up)

tonguing (no book)

fingering flexibility (Jazz Trumpet Techniques)

scales (memorized and Arbans)

chord intervals (Arbans and made up)


76

band material or Arbans Characteristic Studies or jazz standards from the Real
Book

Good luck

Bill Faust
Columbus, Ohio
bill_faust@fitch.com

77

Methods and other literature for trumpet.


Here is a list of some important books for trumpet. This list could of course be much
longer, but we have chosen to present those books that are mentioned somewhere in
this guide or books that for other reasons should be part a trumpeters library. At the end
of this page, we have included a list of CD's that are "companions" to some method
books.

J. B. Arban: Complete Conservatory Method


(Carl Fischer Inc.)
Jean Baptiste Arban (1825 1889) method is known to many as "the bible" for brass
players.
Arban was appointed professor of the cornet at the Paris Conservatory in 1857. In 1864
his method was first published. It was adopted as the Standard Instructor at the
Conservatory - "The Committee of Musical Studies in the Paris Conservatory has
examined the Method which has been submitted by Mr. Arban. This work of sensible
development is founded on excellent principles, and omits no teaching essential to the
making of a good cornetist."
There exist several version of this method, some divided in parts, other in complete
versions. The Cundy-Bettoney edition has been revised by Herbert L. Clarke. Another
edition was revisited by Claude Gordon. Clyde Hunt have made two CDs called "Hunt
plays Arban".

H. L. Clarke: Technical Studies for the Cornet


(Carl Fischer Inc.)
Herbert Lincoln Clarke (1867-1945) was a legend in his own time. He is maybe the best
known cornetist of all time. Like Arban, he was self-taught and his book Technical
Studies for the Cornet is together with some other books by Clarke, the sum of his
playing and teaching experience.
This method is often regarded by trumpet students as a book for finger dexterity, but
development of the fingers are only a by-product. It is better to call it a "Flow Study".

78

James Stamp: Warm-Ups + Studies


(Edition BIM)
James Stamp (1904 -1985) was a professional musician from he was 16 years old. In
1954 following a heart attack, he devoted more and more time to teaching. He acquired
an exceptional reputation as a Trouble Shooter. Thomas Stevens says: "I believe
James Stamp was one of the finest teachers in the world. His approach was so flexible
that I have never seen him fail to improve a player, whether it be an established
symphony musician, jazz or "lead" player or a twelve year old student."
In this book there are breathing exercises, lip and mouthpiece buzzing exercises, pedal
exercises, bending exercises and much more. There is not very much text, explaining
how to do these exercises, so a good advice is to also get a book by Stamps long time
student, Roy Poper (see below):

Roy Poper: Roy Popers Guide to the Brasswind Methods of James


Stamp
(Balquhidder Music)
Roy Poper is acknowledged as the foremost protege of James Stamp. In an
introductory comment, Poper says the following: "The form of this book will be to
supplement the BIM publication page by page with further notes to help enhance the
players understanding of how to execute the various exercises."

Chase Sanborn: Brass Tactics


(www.brasstactics.net)
Brass Tactics by the Canadian trumpeter Chase Sanborn is a very complete method for
trumpet, but also all other brass can benefit from it. The book is an excellent starting
point for comeback players. After each chapter there is a section called Further Study,
where Chase gives references to other books and material.
Who is this book for? Chase says: "Basically, this book was written with my students in
mind. Because that covers a range from absolute beginners to professionals, and
everything in between, there is something here for everyone."
The book is divided into four sections: 1. Techniques & Concepts, 2. Routines, 3.
Equipment and 4. Appendix. It has a nice solid ring binder and a beautiful layout.

Don Jacoby: The Trumpet Method of Don "Jake" Jacoby


(Jockobotz Publisher)
Don "Jake" Jacobys book focuses on several important issues like correct breathing, or
as Jacoby says: "Your best friend Air". The method is mostly a textbook with some
good exercises.
79

Vincent Cichowicz says the following in the Introduction: "Don Jacobys Method
addresses the techniques of playing the trumpet most important to the developing
trumpeter. Its simple and direct language should pose no problems understanding either
the novice nor the more advanced player. The musical examples and diagrams are
helpful and appropriate to facilitating application of the concepts presented."

Claude Gordon: Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing


(Carl Fischer - 1987)
This last book by Claude Gordon is a textbook explaining his teaching philosophy. It
should be a companion to his other books, like Systematic Approach to Daily Practice.

Clyde E. Hunt: Sail the Seven Cs


(Bb Music Production)
Clyde Hunt call his method An Easier Way To Play The Trumpet. It is divided into two
parts. Section I is called "Trumpet Talk" with text about different aspects of playing. At
the conclusion of this section is a comparative chart where Clyde have made a diagram
of several well known methods and compared the use of different techniques like the
use of pedal notes, pucker, syllables etc.
Section II is called "..in the practice room.." - here is first an explanation of the
terminology, like: "initial focus", "the silent whistle", etc. then comes the exercises in 8
phases with increasing range, the last phase ranging from low f sharp to c4 (or the so
called double high C). After phase 8 is a section with etudes composed by Clyde and
with an extended range. Clyde has also recorded important parts from the 8 phases and
the etudes and this is an important part of this method. You get to hear how to play a fat
full pedal note and how to play in the high register.

Arturo Sandoval: Playing Techniques & Performance Studies for


Trumpet
(Hal Leonard)
The 3 volumes are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced level. Each
volume comes with a play-along CD with Sandoval performing selected exercises.
In the foreword Sandoval says the following: "in this series, divided into three books, I
have tried to include all the most important aspect necessary for the preparation of
superlative technical and musical ability. Topics such as: warm-up, pedal tones,
staccato, intervals, and chromatic scales, as well as a number of original pieces that will
be useful for musical interpretation, are presented in an ordered progression." There are
several exercises and etudes from Arban in the books.
80

Eddie Lewis: Daily Routines


(Houston Musical Resources)

Daily Routines is developed from The Physical Trumpet Pyramid. "it is a collection of
seven separate routines, each containing material from the top four levels of The
Physical Trumpet Pyramid, plus a set of Tonalization studies". Eddies approach to using
the routine is: "..to alternate days of difficulty. On Monday, do group five, then on
Tuesday do group two. That kind of alternation will create strength".
Each group begin with an Air Exercise, then Lip Buzz, then Mouthpiece Placement,
Mouthpiece Buzz, Long Tones, Lip Slurs, Articulation and finally Tonalization (different
scale patterns that should be played in all keys)

Eddie Lewis: The Physical Trumpet Pyramid


(Houston Musical Resources)
This book is a text companion to Daily Routines or a "teachers companion". Eddie
describes the book in this way: " The Physical Trumpet Pyramid is an outline. It shows
hierarchical dependencies between the different physical aspects of playing the
trumpet". Very often people will use a "ladder approach" when studying trumpet, leaving
the easy rudiments behind. The "pyramid structure" as opposed to that always go back
and work on that: "All of the rudiments are important and we are never too good to
practice them."

Clint Pops Mc Laughlin: The No Nonsense Trumpet From A - Z


(Clint Pops McLaughlin)
Pops did not only contribute a lot to this CTG-guide, he has also written a book that
cover a lot of topics (from A to Z).
Chapter A is History of the Trumpet, B is The Theory of Sound, C Trumpet Design, etc.
There are also exercises in the book like Warm Up. A special type of exercise not found
in many other methods is Sensation Drill it uses a series of unconnected notes and by
playing it, one develops the feel of the note.
In the chapter about Method Books (chapter L), Pops has divided methods into 6 topics:
1. Technique, 2. Range, 3. Flexibility, 4. Accuracy, 5. Sound and 6. Information. He
shows that some methods only deals with a few topics, while others like Don Jacobys
book have all 6. As can be seen from the title of Pops book it also deals with all six.

Clint Pops Mc Laughlin: Trumpet FAQ's


(Clint Pops McLaughlin)
Pops has just (March 1999) written a new book that called Trumpet FAQ's. FAQ is short
for Frequently Asked Questions. In the foreword Pops says "I want to thank the
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hundreds and hundreds of people who wrote, emailed and called me this past year. You
provided both encouragement and the material for this book."
The book is divided into these sections: Air Usage, Beginners, Braces, Buzzing,
Embouchure, Mouthpieces, Range, Sore Lips, Tonguing, Trumpet Design, Misc
Questions. At the end is 72 Concepts (compiled by John Julian) and Trumpet Playing
Outline - this last chapter is also in this guide under the section "Tips for a CP".

Nicholas Drozdoff: Embouchure Design


(Mr. D's Music)
As Nick says: "This book is the result of years of study of trumpet, music, physics and
engineering. All of these disciplines are combined here in a book that is designed to
help you improve your own embouchure! You start from wherever you are as a player
and build and rebuild. It is not a method that expects you to drop your entire way of
playing and start over. It is not a method that assumes that there is only one way to
place the lips into the mouthpiece. This book will help you improve your way of thinking
about your playing. You won't loose a single day of practice or performance time as a
result of using these techniques."
The exercises in this book is very much like the one in the 4 weeks guide, with lip and
mouthpiece buzzing, but Nick takes it some step further.

William Bing: Fundamentals for Brass


(Balquhidder Music)
This little book by Bill Bing is divided into 3 sections. The first is devoted to easy
exercises that loosens up the "chops". Bing uses bended notes in arpeggio patterns.
Second section is long tones. Bing call this "the meat and potatoes" of the book. There
are two sets, one with dynamics and one without. They are to be played both with and
without vibrato. Bing says he learned the importance of practicing without vibrato from
the great Russian trumpeter Timofei Dokshizer.
The third sections is 3 different lyric etudes called Lyric/Endurance Studies. They are
transposed chromatically up in order to build up the endurance of the brass player.

Matt Graves: Fundamental Flexibility Studies for Trumpet


(Matt Graves)
Matt Graves was a student of Claude Gordon and he have used the principles from his
great teacher in his book: the systematic approach. Matt says the following in his
introductory remarks: "This book was designed with descending and ascending patterns
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based on the harmonic series. These patterns are arranged in twenty-one study groups,
each of which is composed of four exercises. As the student progress, each study
groups adds the next interval in the harmonic series, or fuses together previous study
groups."
The book is excellent as a start for developing this important part of playing. When a
student can play all exercises in this book he can go on to other advanced flexibility
books like Colin or Smith.

Guiseppe Concone: The Complete Solfeggi


(Balquhidder Music)
Guiseppe Concone was a famous nineteenth-century Italian Master of Singing who
composed operas, masses and other sacred music. However, by far his most famous
compositions are the five volumes of Solfeggi
Transcribed and edited for trumpet by John Korak, this edition gives all Concones
etudes there is no dynamic markings, which leaves that to the player. This studies can
be used for different purpose, like developing a vocal singing style, or used in
transposition. Advanced students can use them transposing them into more difficult
registers and keys.

Guiseppe Concone: Lyrical Studies for Trumpet or Horn


(The Brass Press)
Transcribed by John F. Sawyer this is a shorter version with 32 of Concones etudes. In
this edition Sawyer have placed dynamic markings. Clyde Hunt has recorded all 32
etudes.

Tho Charlier: Trente-six Etudes Trancendantes


(Edition Musicales Alphonse Leduc)
Tho Charlier was professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Liege in Belgium.
His etudes is considered to be some of the best ever written for trumpet. He meant
them to be supplements to the etudes of Arban, Balay and others. They deal with
different aspects of playing like articulation, style, intervals and rhythm. Several famous
trumpet artists have used these etudes through all their playing career.

Clyde E. Hunt: "companion" CD


(Bb Music Production)
If you have any of the following trumpet method books on your shelves, you have a
83

need for these "companion" CD recordings. All recordings are by trumpeter/cornetist,


Clyde E. Hunt.
Hunt Plays:
(1) N. Bousquet - 36 Celebrated Studies for the Cornet (found at the rear of St. Jacome)
(2) Vassily Brandt - 34 Studies for the Cornet and Trumpet
(3) H.L. Clarke - Characteristic Studies
(4) H.L. Clarke - Technical Studies
(5) Guiseppe Concone - 32 Lyrical Studies
(6) Sigmund Hering - 30 Studies
(7) Sigmund Hering - 32 Studies
(8) Sigmund Hering - 40 Studies
(9) Raymond Sabarich - Dix Etudes.....Pour Trompette
(10) Max Schlossberg - Daily Drills and Technical Studies
(11) Walter Smith - Top Tones For The Trumpeter
(12) Charlier - 36 Trancendental Etudes
HUNT TEACHES/PLAYS ARBAN - two CD set.
SAIL THE SEVEN C'S - an easier way to play the trumpet. Book and CD.
Grifton School Audio Teacher for Beginning Trumpet - Book and CD
Call and Response Jazz Trumpet - Book and CD

84

Equipment
Time for a new trumpet?
Beginning vs. Intermediate vs. Pro quality horns
Beginner's trumpets are made by machines in large quantities, with numerous
compromises in manufacturing to keep the prices reasonable. They are also designed,
at least in theory, for inexpensive manufacturing, durability and easy production of tone,
rather than quality of tone and intonation. At some point, the limitation of the horn limits
the advancement of the player, though I would note that I recently attended a
performance of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans, and the first trumpet
player was playing (superbly) on an Olds Ambassador, probably the best student horn
ever, but nevertheless a student quality horn which one could buy used for $175.
Beginner's trumpets cost new between $300 and $500.
Unfortunately, the intermediate trumpet line is more of a marketing maneuver than a
distinct quality of horn. These trumpets are beginners' trumpets that are silver plated,
have fixed third valve slide rings, first valve hooks and better cases. They cost $200 to
$250 more than beginners, but that doesn't buy a much better trumpet.
Pro quality horns are the next step up. The leading mass produced makers in my
opinion are Vincent Bach (the Stradivarius line), Yamaha (Professional line), and
Besson (the "New French Besson" line, though made by Kanstul in California). People
who make their living daily with their horns often play these. These are priced generally
between $1000 and $1300 from national mail order companies. You are likely to pay at
least 15% to 30% more from a local music retailer, given their overhead, and most local
music stores do not stock very many pro quality horns. Other quality horns are made by
Getzen and Holton, though you don't see may of these used professionally or in college.
The same is true of the current products of UMI (Conn, King, the new Benge), which
seem to emphasize student line horns.
There are also a couple of limited production, but reasonably priced, handmade horns
which range in price from $1500 to $1700, the Kanstul Signature line and the Schilke,
which are used extensively by professional trumpet players and advanced players.
These are exceedingly fine horns which retain their values quite well. There are also
even smaller production more expensive horns from Flip Oakes, Callet, Callichio,
Blackburn, Lawler, and Monette, but these would not be practical for anyone other than
(well paid) professional musicians.
We are lucky in that trumpets are probably the least expensive professional quality
instruments. For comparison's sake, Yamaha's most expensive piston valved B flat
trumpet is priced at $1100 (at Giardinelli), the professional clarinet $1606; tenor sax
$3363; double french horn $4440; and flute $9060.

85

How do I even start to pick one?


First things first: The horns described below are all exceedingly fine instruments. Each
of them would no doubt meet all the demands you could place on them throughout high
school or college. The difference in horns is minimal compared to the differences in
players. If you practice, the horn will sound great. If you don't, a quality horn isn't going
to help you any. We all sound pretty much the way we sound. If I play your horn, I still
sound like me. If you play my horn, you still sound like you. There may be some
differences in tone quality and intonation which could be heard by attentive listeners, but
most of the difference is in flexibility, response, and ease of use which are more felt by
the player than heard.
Pro quality trumpets differ from each other primarily in weight, bore size (diameter of the
tubing), and bell size and shape. Each maker makes a number of models in varying
combinations (The Giardinelli catalog lists 17 different models of Bach, 12 French
Bessons, 8 Yamahas, 10 Schilkes, etc.), though many of the models would be for
specialized use or for someone with unusual needs or tastes. So it isn't really that
overwhelming: Most players play horns with medium-large bores (.459 to .462 inches).
And generally though any of the horns listed below could be easily employed for any
use and perform very very well the heavier weight horns are more suited for orchestral
and symphonic band type playing, the lighter weight horns for jazz or smaller ensemble
playing. All but Schilkes are available in lacquered brass (gold color) or silver plated
(Schilke in silver only). The silver adds about $75 to the price, but is worth it because
the horns maintain their appearance and value better, certainly smell better, and, again,
in my opinion, play slightly better. Some professional players prefer the lacquer horns,
suggesting that the sound is "warmer."
There are certainly more, but to cut the task down to a manageable size, I suggest ten
models of pro horns which I believe are worthy of your investigation. Where possible I
have tried to link the horn to the manufacturer's web site description.
Bach: Although Yamaha has made some inroads, Bach trumpets are still the leading
orchestral horns in the United States, played in most large orchestras. They make many
different models with different combinations of weights, bells, lead pipes, etc., but any
specific request usually meets a long waiting list and delay. Bach has had a reputation
for inconsistency (i.e., various samples of the same model horn playing differently). One
still runs the risk of getting a clinker from Bach, though Bach's best horns are very good
indeed. The Bach 180S-37 is the most common. It is medium large bore, in silver, with
the most popular and versatile bell, the 37. These are standard weight horns, but Bach's
standard weight is heavier than everybody else's. They are priced at Giardinelli (the
large New York mail order house) at $1275 (in silver). These are made in Elkhart,
Indiana.
Yamaha: The Yamaha pro quality horns have made great strides in the last few years.
They initially imitate another company's popular and successful design and then attempt
to refine it. They are available in Heavy Weight, Standard Weight, and Light Weights.
The Yamaha YTR 6335HIIS Heavy Weight is very popular and plays well. It shares
similar design and playing characteristics with the Bach 180S-37, though the quality
control at Yamaha is superior to Bach. Some find Yamaha horns to have less
personality, however. Yamaha also makes lightweight horns which are similar in design
86

to Schilke, at several hundred dollars less than Schilke, including the Yamaha YTR
6310ZS, designed by jazz trumpet player Bobby Shew. It has a unique step-bore design
where the bore is medium in some areas and larger in others, but which can be
overblown by strong players. Yamaha also makes a standard weight, the Yamaha YTR
6335S, which is a very fine versatile all around horn. For comparison's sake, the
Yamahas at Giardinelli are all priced the same at $1100 (in silver). The Yamahas are
assembled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of components made in Japan.
French Besson: Early in this century, symphonic trumpeters all preferred French
Bessons. Vincent Bach and Elden Benge each designed their horns in the model of the
Bessons and tried to improve upon that design. The original line halted production in the
60's and was revived by Boosey & Hawkes in the early 80's. The horns are made in
Anaheim under the direction of Zig Kanstul and are of very high quality. The Classic
French Besson (96CB) (bore .462) is a relatively new design by Dennis Nijoom of the
Milwaukee Symphony and has similar playing characteristics to the Bach. The New
French Besson (92A), designed and individually play tested by studio musician Marvin
Stamm, is a lighter more versatile horn which is designed specifically and comes with
accessories like single radius tuning slide, heavy valve caps, and valve cap spaces to
allow the player to alter the horn to fit better the playing circumstances. These horns
represent the best bargain in new pro quality horns, priced at $874 in lacquer and $942
in silver, without a case, from Tulsa Band Instrument Co (e-mail Donovan Bankhead,
the manager, at TulBand@oklahoma.net), who also sells a case at cost for $55.
Schilke: Although Schilke also makes a heavier horn, Schilke's claim to fame is their
lightweight B series. These horns are very responsive and exceedingly well made with
many hand fittings and adjustments. After playing them, heavier horns feel "sluggish."
Some have criticized Schilkes as not having the tonal presence of the better Bach
horns, at least for orchestra work. The Schilke B1 is a medium large bore, large bell
horn which is very free blowing and good for almost any purpose. The Schilke B5 is a
medium large bore, medium large bell horn, equally good, though it has more resistance
and a more compact sound. Schilke does not publish the numerical bore measurements
of their horns because the bore varies throughout the horn as a result of extensive
experimentation and scientific testing to determine the optimal bore sizes to maximize
the intonation on each note. Schilkes cost $1580 at Giardinelli without case. Schilke is
old fashioned and has no web site, though information can be gathered from The
Schilke Loyalist. Call Schilke for a catalog and price list at (708) 343-8858.
Kanstul: The Zigmat (that's his first name) Kanstul Signature collection are similar in
quality and expense to the Schilkes, but emphasize heavier darker sounds, employing
copper bells on a number of models, including the Kanstul ZKT 1503, which is suitable
for all round use, and start about $1395 from Tulsa Band. It can be ordered with a brass
bell, or for extra cost, a copper bell for darker tone. Kanstul also makes the Chicago CHI
1000, a faithful reproduction of one of Elden Benge's earliest horns. It has a full
orchestral type sound in the middle registers but brightens up in the higher registers. It
comes with a wonderful triple gig bag and costs $1295, or so, from Tulsa Band.
......
Used instruments: There is a large market of used pro quality instruments. Some
students stopped playing and like to sell their horns. Some pro players or serious
87

amateurs go through horns looking for the "perfect" horn. Bach 180S-37's and Yamahas
can often be purchased in very good condition for $650 to $900. Used Schilke and
Kanstul horns can also be purchased in very good condition for $900 to $1300 also, i.e.,
at the price of the less expensive new horns. Most pro quality trumpets are owned by
people who appreciate them and take care of them, so they are usually in very good
condition. Occasionally the classified ads in the local newspapers having listings. Other
used horns are available from dealers and individuals all over the country who advertise
on the world wide web. Within a fairly short time, most of the more popular models
become available somewhere at a reasonable price.
In addition to the horns described here. Older high quality pro models that are no longer
made or imported are often available used for very reasonable prices, such as the older
California Benges (Zig Kanstul was the shop manager), Selmer (Paris) and LeBlanc
(Paris) trumpets, and F.E. Olds pro models. Though somewhat orphaned and older,
these are fine horns that can be had for around $500 and would be a significant
upgrade to any beginner's horn.

1999 by James F. Donaldson / All rights reserved

88

How to test a trumpet.


This is the ideal. There are few things in life that can be experienced at the ideal level,
but try to get as many of these things together as you can.
1) Test the horn with at least one knowledgeable friend. You need someone to
listen and compare. The sound is different on the audience's side of the horn.
2) Try to make arrangements to test the horn in a hall that you will be playing.
Some horns sound better in different settings, so you should try the horn out, if
possible, where it will actually be played.
3) Make sure to take with you your old horn for comparison's sake a tuner music
with which you are familiar and which you would probably play with the new horn
Visual inspection:
1) Check for dents, dings and finish problems.
2) Check out the valves for the feel. Oil if necessary. Rock the valves back and
forth to see if there is excess looseness. Make sure the stems and valve buttons
are screwed in tightly.
3) Check the valve caps, water keys, and slides to see if they are movable and
functional.
4) Check for valve leakage by removing a slide crook, placing a finger over the
outlet port, and blowing on the leadpipe. To test the entire horn for leaks, you can
put a soft rubber ball into the bell and blow on the leadpipe. This also helps to
check to make sure the water key corks are sealing. It is not very illuminating to
test a horn with a leaky water key.
5) Pull out the second valve slide (push the valve down first) and look in the
ports. When the valve is pushed down, all you should be able to see is the inside
of the valve bore. If you can see any of the exterior of the valve itself, the valve is
way out of alignment and the horn will not play as well as it should if the valves
are aligned. Kinda like test driving a car when one of the cylinders isn't hitting.
6) Check the seal on the valves buy pulling out each valve slide half way, then
depressing the valve. If the seal is satisfactory, there will be a light "thunk" made
as the vacuum is opened by the valve.
7) Check the condition of the leadpipe by removing the tuning crook and looking
through the pipe for dirt or corrosion or red rot.
Playing the horn.
1) Play a few long tones in the middle register. Bend pitches until the center is
89

found and the horn resonates as much as possible. Play a few long tones very
softly.
2) Play a few long leisurely scales at mp over the range of the instrument to
check the uniformity of the sound throughout the horn's full range. Slur some and
tongue some to see how easy it is to get the horn to speak. Play a couple as soft
and as loud as you can.
3) Check intonation. Play several octave intervals in the mid range. Often the
intonation in the higher range is more a result of the horn/mouthpiece match,
than it is of the horn. Schilke recommends playing the B major scale, a scale
notoriously out of tune on many horns. If you've brought a tuner and are in a
quiet location, playing the normal range of the instrument on the tuner will reveal
the horn's individual tendencies and weaknesses.
4) Play some lip slurs and shakes to determine the flexibility and response.
5) Play a few scales or arpeggios to try the high register to see how the horn
responds and the resistance encountered.
6) Play the music that you've brought to see how the horn performs on music that
you are familiar with.
7) Listen to what your knowledgeable friends say about the sound, let them help
you by instructing you what to play again or to adjust. Alternate playing your old
horn with the one you are trying out, giving the friends time to respond. Have the
friends move around the hall, listening both beside you (as a player in your
section might) and at the back of the hall.
1999 by James F. Donaldson / All rights reserved

90

Mouthpieces
By Nick Drozdoff
There are many ideas out there about what one should use for a mouthpiece depending
on the idiom in which a given trumpeter is working. I will begin this brief piece with this
immediate qualification. Anything that I would say, or for that matter anyone else as
well, must be taken as a generality, not universal truth. Every player is different, whether
a "comeback player" or not. Everyone has his or her own mental structure about what it
takes to play trumpet. All any teacher can do is help an individual adjust his or her own
"focus," so to speak. As a result, everyone will have slightly different needs with respect
to mouthpieces for conceptual reasons as well as physical. This makes mouthpiece
choice even more uniquely individual than picking a trumpet. Therefore, please consider
the following remarks a general guide. You will need to fold them into your own way of
thinking.
Big versus Small:
The general rule of thumb is that a larger mouthpiece is better for classical or technical
playing requiring lots of flexibility and tonguing as well as a full "legit" tone. Conversely,
a smaller mouthpiece is better for commercial/jazz/lead playing that might require more
volume (loudness), a brighter tone and use of upper register. This makes good sense,
but there are some things to think about.
Is it possible to play good classical trumpet on a small mouthpiece (a Bach 7E for
example)? Certainly. One can train themselves to do this to great advantage. I believe
that, at one time, Timofei Dokshizer actually played a Bach 7E. I am aware of at least
one major symphony orchestra player who recorded the Plog concerto using a Bach
10&1/2 C. Another major orchestra player has been known to use a 7E for tougher
works such as the Bartok concerto.
Is it possible to play screaming lead on a big mouthpiece (a Bach 1C, for example)?
Again, yes. Here in Chicago I know a fine jazz player with lethal high chops playing a
mouthpiece bigger than a Schilke 20. He can paste double C's on this thing. Recently I
became aware of an East Coast lead player using a Bach 1B!
However, I do feel that these are more extreme cases. In all things, moderation would
seem to make sense. I can play double C's on my Bach 1&1/4 C megatone, but they
don't come out with a lead player's fire without a lot of effort. I can also play an
acceptable rendition of Charlier's second etude on my Laskey 40S* with some
concentration on backing away from the mouthpiece and focusing the aperture a bit. I
would not choose to handle things this way on a gig, though. I use the tool for the job.
By learning to expect of a mouthpiece setup what it was intended to achieve has helped
me immensely. This may seem very logical, but it is surprisingly easy to find oneself
letting other considerations cloud one's thinking. I use a Bach 1&1/4 C in my C trumpet
for normal legit gigs and chamber performances. However, I look over the music I'm
expected to play first. If am expected to play some music that is more of a strident
characteristic - the mambo trumpet solo in West Side Story, for example -I'd use my
lead set up. To me, nothing sounds more "hokey" than hearing a legit player struggling
91

to do this on a big orchestral setup. It wasn't supposed to sound like that. It was
supposed to sound like a fiery trumpet solo in a NY salsa band. When I play lead on a
big band, I use my new setup with my Shew horn with a Laskey 40S* in it. However, if I
am handed a solo that is supposed to sound like Freddie Hubbard or Chet Baker, I'll
switch to the 1&1/4 C or a Laskey 40MC to achieve a more mellow sound (fewer upper
partials). If I feel like it, I can pop out some high notes, but I wouldn't linger there.
I used to get into trouble by trying to work with the "one mouthpiece fits all" method of
trumpet playing. That just didn't work FOR ME! It works for many folks quite nicely, and I
don't mean to imply that my way of doing things is the only way. However, I feel that it is
wisdom to feel free to switch mouthpieces depending on the gig.
It would seem to me that one thing a comeback player can do is to develop the ability to
switch mouthpieces comfortably. Many of the methods outlined in this forum as a
natural for doing this. I make it a part of my daily routine in the following fashion.
Big Mouthpiece:
I do an extensive routine of lip buzzing (no mouthpiece), ring buzzing (using a Bach
1&1/4 C rim) and BERP work every day. On this stuff, I use a Bach 1&1/4 C.
Small Mouthpiece:
After the BERP routine I work out on the lead pipe, full trumpet with false scales,
extreme Clarke's studies and soft ballads. During this portion I switch to either my
Laskey 40S* or my Monette BL3.
I have found that doing things this way has kept me flexible for mouthpiece switching
when necessary. Often, I do legit gigs requiring that I play C trumpet with a big
mouthpiece and then pick up my piccolo with a small mouthpiece for some baroque
work. By practicing in this way, I feel that I am always ready.
Horn Cycle:
In addition to playing trumpet, I also play lower brasswinds. I like to do what I called my
horn cycle. I prefer to do this after my basic routine. I play scales and etudes in different
keys and cover all of the horns in the following order: didjeridu, trombone, alto horn,
flugel horn, cornet, C-trumpet, B-flat trumpet, E-flat trumpet, natural trumpet, piccolo
trumpet, cornetto. I have found that this really helps my chops feel ready for anything
that I might have to face in the evening. It is also a lot of fun. As a word of caution, I
would admonish anyone contemplating doing a horn cycle to plan on resting a few
minutes between horns. You should not feel exhausted after this. Your chops should
feel exhilarated.
Much of this is outlined in my book, but perhaps this thumbnail sketch may be of some
use to the CTG readers. There are many wonderful ideas thoroughly covered in this
web site. You can easily find everything you need to make a truly remarkable and fast
comeback right here in the "Comeback Trumpeters Guide."
Thanks for reading. Nick Drozdoff http://www.drozdoff.com

92

The Care of Piston Valve Brass Instruments


Introduction
Brass musical instruments are continually subjected to the aerosols in the musician's
breath. Over time this debris will build up inside the instrument until its performance is
degraded. Valve action in particular is drastically effected when those aerosols attach
themselves to the piston and valve casing. Human saliva is also damaging to these
instruments. The salts and enzymes present in saliva promote Monel valve staining,
attack internal solder joints, and cause dezinicification (red rot) in the crooks of the
slides. On the outside of the instruments, sweat from the hands also causes
dezinicification. Therefore, to ensure that the instrument performs properly and to retard
corrosion, it is necessary to not only clean it regularly, but in an effective way. The
following method of maintenance will ensure that the instrument can perform at its
utmost. Although there are many techniques in use, this method is based on soapy
water, a little effort, and a lot of common sense.
Cleaning Equipment
To clean inside the instrument you should use a quality snake which has a protective
coating covering its length. The snakes' bristles should be moderately stiff, but the ends
should not have exposed metal tips. Wire brushes may get the task done quickly, but
the added risk of scratching the instrument does not justify their use. The concern is that
their routine use might scratch the instrument's interior enough to provide a better
surface for mold to anchor between washings. Moreover, a weakened wall on an old
instrument can be easily perforated. We therefore prefer to rely on the proven power of
soapy water to loosen the debris followed by a thorough, but gentle, brushing to remove
the debris. To clean the valve casings you should use a valve casing brush that is soft
enough to avoid marring the casing wall. Do not use scouring pads, metal brushes or
any abrasives. The mouthpiece is cleaned with a mouthpiece brush, but a cotton or
foam swab works well inside the cup.
As for the soap, Lemon Joy and Palmolive liquid dish soap work well. DO NOT use
toothpaste, abrasive soaps, Brasso, Tarnex, chemicals or any soaps that make the
water turn milky. Do not use soaps that leave behind an odor, or claim to contain a skin
softening lotion. Cleaners such as Fantastic, Pinesol, and Mr. Clean are powerful
cleaners, but they have solvents that might soften and blush some lacquer finishes.
Some are also alkaline enough to increase any red rot already forming on the
instrument.
Procedure
Begin by removing all of the slides. Use soft paper toweling to remove all traces of
tuning slide grease from the slides and the instrument. A little grease goes a long way in
slowing down your valves, and this step will keep grease from transferring to the valves
and casing during cleaning. Silicone based slide grease is uniquely tough to remove. If
you have a silicone based slide grease on your slides, remove it with a paper towel
saturated in mineral spirits. Place the slides somewhere safe for until the soapy water is
93

ready.
The valves are also best cleaned separately. First, soak them in individual plastic cups
containing enough lukewarm soapy water to just cover the top of the piston, but not the
felts. Use your snake to gently clean the ports of each piston, and a soft soapy wash
cloth to clean the outside of each piston. Again, let the soaking do most of the cleaning.
The most effective technique for cleaning the rest of the instrument is to work in a
bathtub or large basin. Obviously do not use an automatic dishwasher; it will not clean
the instrument interior and it will permanently damage your instrument. Fill the tub with
lukewarm water (not hot) and mix in a healthy amount (about 10 mL) of the liquid dish
soap.
Place a large cloth towel in the bottom of your tub or basin to help prevent scratching
the instrument during cleaning. Put the disassembled instrument, slides and mouthpiece
(but not the valves) onto the towel in the bathtub and let the parts soak for about 30
minutes to loosen any debris. For larger instruments which may not fit completely under
the water, pour soapy water down the bell. Use a soft cloth to wash the external parts of
the instrument. Dip the snake's brush in some dish soap and gently run the snake inside
every tube and slide. Do not try to force the snake all the way around the curves of the
small slides.
Remove the valve caps on the bottom of the valve casing. Use your soft valve casing
brush to GENTLY brush out the valve casing. Remember, this is a delicate part of your
instrument, so be gentle. Use the same technique with the mouthpiece, but use a
mouthpiece brush. If the instrument is exceptionally dirty, let it soak longer. Again, do
not use abrasives, scouring pads or metal brushes; the soapy water will work if you are
patient. Although in extreme cases some dilute acid will remove dried layers of debris, it
is far better to let an experienced repair shop perform any acid treatment.
After you are satisfied that everything is clean, rinse all the parts well with lukewarm
water until every trace of soap is gone. To prevent spotting, the outside of the
instrument can be wiped dry. The external finish will scratch easily, so use the softest
cloth you can find. A very worn, but clean, cotton Tee-shirt or old cotton pajamas work
well for this. Blow out any water hanging up in the tubing, and lay the instrument out to
dry overnight. It is very important that the pistons, the valve casings, and the ends of the
slides be bone-dry before you begin to reassemble the instrument. Oil and grease work
far better and last longer if applied to perfectly dry surfaces. Remember oil and water do
not mix.
Begin reassembling your instrument by rubbing a thin bead of slide grease on the tips of
the male ends of each tuning slide. By applying grease in this way any excess grease
will be pushed out of the instrument instead of into the instrument where it can
eventually effect valve action. Use a very light grease on the trigger slides, and a very
heavy grease on the main tuning slide. Be sure to wipe any excess grease off the
exterior surfaces of the instrument.
After all of the slides have been assembled, the valves need to be properly prepared. It
is absolutely necessary to liberally coat BOTH the valve and the valve casing surfaces
with valve oil (ten drops on each valve and ten drops on each casing) so that excess oil
94

will transfer to the internal solder joints. In doing so it will protect them against
dezinicification (red discoloration) and corrosion (blue-green discoloration) which are
caused by exposing the naked metal to saliva. Use your fingers to forcefully rub the oil
onto the entire piston surface. This rubbing action guarantees complete coverage of the
valve, and helps protect Monel valves against spotting. Some musicians blow oil
through the instrument. This is a good idea to protect the instrument interior, but does
not replace proper oiling of the piston and valve casing as we described.
Finally, let us say that we know that this process might sound long and arduous, but
after the first time, it will be fast and easy. The rewards, however, will last a long time.
Copyright 1996 MusiChem, Incorporated
Permission to use this article granted by David Elgas, President (Mach 1999)

95

Metronome
instrument for marking musical tempo, erroneously ascribed to the German Johann
Nepomuk Maelzel (1772-1838) but actually invented by a Dutch competitor, Dietrich
Nikolaus Winkel (c.1776-1826).
It consists of a pendulum swung on a pivot and actuated by a hand-wound clockwork
whose escapement (a motion-controlling device) makes a ticking sound as the wheel
passes a pallet. Below the pivot there is a fixed weight; above it, a sliding weight. A
scale of numbers indicates how many oscillations per minute occur when the sliding
weight is moved to a given point on the pendulum.
The notation "M.M. (Maelzel's metronome) = 60" indicates that at 60 oscillations per
minute the half note will receive one beat.
The conventional metronome is housed in a pyramidal case.

Pocket and electronic metronomes are also made.

96

Four Weeks to Better Playing


Based on a Rafael Mendez idea (in his book Prelude to Brass Playing) we have
designed a 4 week system for getting rid of some of the problems plaguing a lot of
comeback as well as amateur players.

The NATURAL method for playing a brass instrument boils down to the following points:

(a) FLEXIBILITY OF THE LIPS


(b) STRENGTH OF FACIAL MUSCLES ABOUT THE MOUTH, CHIN AND JAWS
(c) EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE TONGUE
(d) POWER FROM THE DIAPHRAGM.

There are no tricks to this method, nor are there any short cuts. The rules are dictated by common sense;
they follow only the principles governing sound production. Lip vibration produce sound; the lips, then
must be brought to a soft, pliant, vibrant state whereby the may be easily controlled and regulated.
Control comes with development, training, and co-ordination of the many sets of muscles going to make
up embouchure. The tongue, one minute flicking lightly, the next caressing gently, and so on, must be
trained for accuracy, developed for strength. The power for brilliant tone, for endurance, must come form
the only source the powerhouse.
And so, we arrive at the approach to embouchure training. The whole method of natural playing depends
upon your attitude, your work, this next few weeks. This is where you make or brake.
This is where the patience comes in!
You are going to learn how to produce a sound a good sound! Once that is accomplished, you are on
your way; you have the foundation upon which to build successful brass playing. You have heard the
expression Well begun is half done. Keep that in mind!
(Embouchure training, page 25,Prelude to Brass Playing)

97

First week
Preparing the lips
Knowing that sound on your instrument is dependent on lip vibrations, that lips must be loosened up
before they will vibrate naturally, that Nature must take its own course in this training, will you spend one
week a full seven days on this all-important phase? There will be no need for your instrument during
this period of training, so put it away and concentrate on the job at hand.

(Embouchure training, page 27,Prelude to Brass Playing)

Here is a series of exercises for a whole week. Try to do them several times during
each day. If you can, do them 3 times, one in the morning, one during the day and one
in the evening.

Why was Rafael Mendez such a great player? He had talent, but he also practiced all
day. In small portions - 20 minutes practice, then he rested 20 minutes or more, then a
new practice session, etc.

PRACTICE - REST - PRACTICE - REST - PRACTICE REST

98

Day 1, Week One


"Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing" (Claude Gordon)

Breathing
We start this first session with some breathing exercises. The motto (see above) is very
important. We will be working on making an effective embouchure and on buzzing the
lips, but without a lot of air to feed the lips there will be troubles. The approach should
be SONG and WIND.

NOTE: When doing these breathing exercises (rhythmic and "melodic") try to make a
sort of "silent whistle sound", where you can hear the pitch. Form the mouth into an
almost whistling position.

Empty and Fill


Empty completely. Fill with a yawn. Repeat. Try to breathe in and out with a big
OOO-feeling. Think "OOOH" for intake, and "HOOO" on out.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 1

Setting the Embouchure

The M setting:

Relax jaw and open throat.

Teeth 1/2 inch apart. Jaw forward.

Pull the mouth corners in toward your lips. Say M.

Roll both lips in slightly.

99

The First Buzz

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Exercise 1

Massaging and relaxing the lip and face muscles

The Bobby Shew "flutter"


Blow air through the lips and make the lips flutter. Try to imitate the sound of a
horse. If you keep the teeth together, you will get a deeper sound.

100

Day 2, Week One

Breathing
We continue the second session by repeating one breathing exercises and adding a
new one ("melodic").

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 2

Preparing the lip and face muscles


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter"
Blow air through the lips and make the lips flutter. Try to imitate the sound of a
horse. If you keep the teeth together, you will get a deeper sound.
Do this exercise between the buzzing exercises (see below), to loosen up the
lips.

Buzzing

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

101

Day 3, Week One

Breathing
We continue the third day by doing the breathing exercises first.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 3

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter"
Blow air through the lips and make the lips flutter. Try to imitate the sound of a
horse. If you keep the teeth together, you will get a deeper sound.
Do this exercise between the buzzing exercises (see below), to loosen up the
lips.

Buzzing

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

102

Day 4, Week One


Breathing
We continue the fourth day by doing the breathing exercises first.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 4

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter".
Buzzing

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Exercise 2

Exercise 4

Exercise 5

103

Day 5, Week One

Breathing
We continue the fifth day by doing the breathing exercises first.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 5

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter".

Buzzing
One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Buzzing has to do with finesse, not brute force. Roy Poper, a long time student of
James Stamp, said in his book

"Roy Poper's Guide to the Brasswind Methods of James Stamp" (page 8):
For years I tried to use too much force of wind to accomplish this exercise. When I relaxed and
concentrated on the correct form, i.e: corners together, only enough lip tension to start the first note,
steady feeling of crescendo on that "Too" etc., steady progress on range began to occur.

So let us review exercise 1. Try to make it very soft and if it is easier for you, take
the pitch down (maybe to a low G)
Then try Exercise 4 with crescendo, decrescendo to test if the buzz is loose. Use
the "flutter" between each exercise.

Exercise 1

Exercise 4

Exercise 6

104

Day 6, Week One

Breathing
We continue the sixth day also by doing the breathing exercises first. Work on an open
relaxed throat. Use OOOH when breathing in and reverse that to HOOO when
breathing out.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

"Melodic" Breathing

Exercise 6

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter".

Buzzing

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

First review exercise 1, then exercise 4 with crescendo, decrescendo to test if the
buzz is loose. Use the "flutter" between each exercise.

Exercise 1

Exercise 4

Exercise 7

105

Day 7, Week One

Breathing
We finish the first week by doing the breathing exercises first.

Rhythmic Breathing
We do a second exercise here, using a Vincent Chicowicz patter.

Exercise 2

"Melodic" Breathing
Here we do the Andante from the Haydn Trumpet Concerto.

Exercise 7

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter".

Buzzing

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Buzzing has to do with finesse, not brute force.

For years I tried to use too much force of wind to accomplish this exercise. When I relaxed and
concentrated on the correct form, i.e: corners together, only enough lip tension to start the first note,
steady feeling of crescendo on that "Too" etc., steady progress on range began to occur.

So let us review exercise 1. Try to make it very soft and if it is easier for you, take
the pitch down (maybe to a low G)
Then try Exercise 4 with crescendo, decrescendo to test if the buzz is loose. Use
the "flutter" between each exercise.

106

Then finally go to exercise 8, a James Stamp variation with a range (including


pedal register) of two octaves.

Exercise 1

Exercise 4

Exercise 8

107

Second week
Mouthpiece practice

And now, position of the mouthpiece on the lips. Slow! Caution! Red light ahead! This is the step that
can spell success or failure. Take no chances!

First in this step is finding the vibrating center of the lips. Vibrating center!

You should have no trouble locating the vibrating center of your lips. Provided you have worked
Conscientiously this past week on the loosening process, a glance in the mirror as you buzz the lips
will show the natural vibrating center. Wherever that happens to be, there is the place for your
mouthpiece!
(Embouchure training, page 34,Prelude to Brass Playing)

108

Day 1, Week Two

Breathing
We start second week's session with a breathing exercises. (Melodic breathing is
now part of the finger exercise below)

Rhythmic breathing

Lips
We also continue second week with a lip buzzing exercise.

Buzzing (part 8 from Week 1)

Do the "Shew flutter" exercise

Mouthpiece
Then we start off with buzzing the mouthpiece. Remember what Mendez says: "Slow!
Caution! .. First in this step is finding the vibrating center of the lips."

Lip to mouthpiece buzz

Simple pattern

Siren

Fingers & B.E.R.P


We also start working on developing finger dexterity. If you have a BERP use it, if
not, tape the mouthpiece outside on the leadpipe. This is important to make this
exercise close to a playing situation.

Melodic with valves + breathing + BERP

109

Third week
The Instrument
You are about to insert your mouthpiece into your instrument and produce your first notes as opposed
to the sounds you have been making up to this point. Congratulations! But, first what do you know about
this instrument of yours? While even a fine pianist needs know little or nothing about the mechanism,
maintenance, tuning, etc. of the piano, it is important for you as a brass player to know your instrument,
know hove to care for and keep up the working parts, know how to tune it, and know the principles
governing its operation.
(Embouchure training, page 40,Prelude to Brass Playing)

Instrument Practice
You will do well to regard your instrument as an amplifier a loudspeaker that amplifies the sounds made
by your lips. You are aware by now that there is nothing magical about valves or trombone slide. They
merely make more notes available to you. It is for you to make your lips vibrate at the frequency for the
notes desired. In other words, you depend on the lips. The action of moving the valves or slide may be
reckoned as only about two percent in importance.
(Embouchure training, page 55,Prelude to Brass Playing)

110

Day 1, Week Three

Breathing
We start the third week by doing the breathing exercises first.

Rhythmic Breathing

Exercise 1

Softening the lips


Do the Bobby Shew "flutter".

Buzzing on the lip

One, two, three, "UP" - BUZZ

Let us first review exercise 1. Try to make it very soft and if it is easier for you, take
the pitch down (maybe to a low G)
Then try Exercise 4 with crescendo, decrescendo to test if the buzz is loose. Use the
"flutter" between each exercise.
Then finally go to exercise 8, a James Stamp variation with a range (including pedal
register) of two octaves.

Exercise 1

Exercise 4

Exercise 8

Buzzing on the mouthpiece.

111

Do exercises 8 on the mouthpiece.

Exercise 8

Playing on the instrument

Approaching the pedal register.

Pedal Exercise 1

112

Fourth week

Practice Habits
Practice every day! There is no one thing better for morale, that will help you stay with study, more
than the steady advancement that follows from everyday blowing. On the other hand, there is nothing
more demoralizing than the sad result of hit-and-miss practice. The lips stiffen and refuse to vibrate,
reactions in general slow up, and it takes days of hard work to get back to where you were.
.
Form the habit of routine. If possible, start practice at the same time each day. Keep at it until music time
becomes as regular a part of the day as breakfast, lunch and supper, The beginner would be wise to
have three or four sessions of fifteen minutes, rather than one long practice (which would be too much for
an undeveloped embouchure)
(Embouchure training, page 58,Prelude to Brass Playing)

113

Exercises
We have placed all the exercises here in the order they appear in the guide.

First the breathing exercises, then the lip buzzing, then the mouthpiece buzzing etc.

114

Rhythmic breathing - part 1





"Up"







 
 

"

"





"

 
Use a metronome. Start with MM=120.
Take in air on count 3 and 4 (after breathing mark). Blow out air and try to sing the
scale pattern in your mind at the same time. Try to take in more air for each new
pattern.

When you are able to do the whole scale easy, take down the metronome to

115

Rhythmic breathing - part 2





 



 




!

 

















!







 

V.C.




Use a metronome. Start with MM=200.

Take in air on count 3 and 4. Blow out air and try to sing the pattern in your mind
at the same time. Try to take in more air for each new pattern. When you are able
to do the whole exercise easy, take down the metronome, two notch at a time.

116

"Melodic" breathing - part 1


J.B. Arban

 









Use a metronome. Set it to MM=120.
Take in air and "breathe" (and sing silent inside) the first two bars with legato.
Then, the next two bars, etc. Take in air as quick and silent as possible.
Repeat this exercise but this time use a gentle "Ta" attack with the tip of the
tongue.

Keep the air going all the time like when doing it the first time legato. The tongue
must not stop the air, just flip it lightly.

117

"Melodic" breathing - part 2


G. Concone

 

 

 

 

 


















 


"

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=100.

Try to "breathe" each phrase as indicated. Take in more air before bar 4 and
before the last four bars, since there is no quarter rest there.

To help you feel the phrasing more natural (crescendo, decrescendo, etc.) try to
sing the whole etude

118

Lip buzzing - part 1

'





=60

"Up"

"Up"

Poo

(5)


Poo

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

Take in air on count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip by saying "UP". Then
try to make a buzz with the lips by using the sound POO. Keep the tongue down
and use the syllable P. If you can hit a low C it is good, but the pitch is not
important here. It is more important to aim for a relaxed buzz. Be very exact with
the rhythm.

119

Lip buzzing - part 2

'





=60

"Up"

"Up"


Poo Poo Poo Poo
Too Too Too Too

(5)


Poo Poo Poo Poo
Too Too Too Too

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

Take in air on count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip by saying "UP".
Then try to make a buzz with the lips by using the sound POO. Keep the
tongue down and use the syllable P. Try to hit a low C. The pitch is not
important here. It is more important to aim for a relaxed buzz. Be very exact
with the rhythm. On the repeat, use TOO attack, with tip of tongue.

120

Lip buzzing - part 3

'





=60

"Up"

"Up"

(5)

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

Take in air on count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip by saying "UP". Buzz
a C for 2 counts, then try to make a glissando up to a D by increasing the
airspeed, hold the D for 2 counts, then slide down to the C.
Next bar: Hold C, then slide down to B, then back and hold C for 4 counts. If this
is hard at first, take a rest. Then repeat the exercise (5 times in all).

121

Lip buzzing - part 4

'





=120

"Up"

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=120.

Take in air on count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip with "UP". Start the
buzz with a POO attack as soft as possible and try crescendo - decrescendo.
Maintain the same pitch. If you can do this you have a relaxed buzz.

This exercise can be used to test that your buzz is correct, that is: relaxed

122

Lip buzzing - part 5







"Up"

"Up"

"

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

Take in air on count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip with "UP".

Start the buzz with a POO attack.

123

(2)

Lip buzzing - part 6







"Up"




"Up"

"Up"

"Up"

"Up"

"Up"

 

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

1. Do this as a breath exercise.


2. Do it as a buzz exercise with glissando. Slide from note to note. Take in air on
count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip with "UP". Start the buzz with a
POO attack. Do it very soft. Try to use the same feeling as when doing it as a
breathing exercise (1).
3. Do it with legato and centered tones.

124

Lip buzzing - part 7

'





=60

"Up"

"Up"




"Up"

"Up"

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

1. Do this as a breath exercise. Try to hear the pitches in the breath sound.
2. Do it as a buzz exercise with glissando. Slide from note to note.
3. Do it with legato and centered tones.

The note in last bar is a so-called pedal note on the trumpet. You should use the
lower lip more active as you descend. By buzzing these low notes you will
strengthen the lower lip.

125

Lip buzzing - part 8



'

=60


 

   

 "

  


 
!

This is a variation on a famous James Stamp exercise.

Use a metronome. Set it to MM=60.

1. Do this as a breath exercise. HOOO feeling.


2. Do it as a buzz exercise with glissando. Slide from note to note. Take in air on
count 4 (after breathing mark) and close lip with "UP". Start the buzz with a
POO attack. Do it very soft. Try to use the same feeling as when doing it as a
breathing exercise (1).
3. Do it with legato and centered tones.

126